We need racial justice reform – not more power handed over to police.
The Derek Chauvin verdict was a step in the right direction for police accountability, but there is so much more work to do, including here in Iowa. Iowa legislators have repeatedly promised action on criminal and racial justice to address things like police abuse of power and excessive force. Instead, we now have a policing bill (Senate File 342 <[link removed]>) that runs directly counter to that promise. It gives police sweeping new powers with even less accountability.
Tell your legislator that you want racial justice reform, not even more power handed over to police. <[link removed]>
The wide-ranging bill as passed by the House is concerning in many ways. Just a few include:
* Granting specially qualified immunity for police officers that would make it harder for individuals whose rights have been violated to sue the police.
* Heaping new penalties on protestors. The bill would expand the scope of the "unlawful assembly" to cover simply being present at a protest that turns violent.
* Making it punishable by up to a year in jail to not pull over for an unmarked police car – even if it's driven by an officer not wearing a uniform – whether a person knows it is actually an officer in a police car or not.
We urge lawmakers to use these final weeks of session to instead pass legislation focused on criminal and racial justice, the way they were able to come together last summer and pass a bipartisan bill to ban chokeholds and revoke certifications for officers fired due to misconduct.
Legislators must fulfill their promise to Iowans that they would take steps to improve criminal and racial justice. Now.
Urge Iowa Legislators to fulfill their promise. <[link removed]>
As of the date of this email, this bill is rapidly evolving, so look for changes as it moves forward.