1.Democrats Unveil Sweeping Bill Targeting Police Misconduct and Racial Bias

What does the Justice in Policing Act propose?

What are the consequences of racism?

How prevalent is racism in USA?

UPSC Can list these Questions under

GS paper 2 (Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.)

What is the context about?

  • Top US congressional Democrats have unveiled a bill- the Justice in Policing Act- to overhaul police practices as Americans gather daily to protest excessive use of force and systemic racism.
  • The legislation would make sweeping changes designed both to deter police use of force and hold officers more accountable for abuses.
  • The legislation now needs support from Republicans.
  • This comes two weeks after the death of George Floyd, the black, unarmed man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

What does the Justice in Policing Act propose?

  • Reform “qualified immunity” for officers, making it easier for people whose constitutional rights were violated to recover damages.
  • Change the federal standard of criminal police behavior from “willful” to acting “knowingly or with reckless disregard,” to address the difficulty of prosecuting officers.
  • Start a federal registry of police misconduct and require states to report use of force to the U.S. Justice Department.
  • Ban police use of chokeholds and carotid holds, and condition funding for state and local departments on barring the practices.
  • Stop the use of “no-knock” search warrants in drug cases in the U.S., while also making state and local money contingent on stopping use of the warrants.
  • Give the Justice Department subpoena power to carry out “pattern and practice” investigations into police department conduct.
  • Provide state attorneys general with grants to carry out pattern and practice probes and create a process for independent investigations into uses of force.
  • Require training on racial bias and implicit bias at the federal level, and condition state and local funding on offering training.

What are the consequences of racism?

  • It not only sustains a permanent group hierarchy but deeply stigmatises those designated as inferior. This sense of hierarchy provides a motive for say, whites to treat blacks in ways that would be viewed as cruel or unjust if applied to members of their own group. For instance, contact with them is often regarded as contaminating, polluting.
  • It should therefore be avoided or kept to a minimum.

qRacism naturalises a person’s belief, character and culture. For example, being uneducated is seen not as socio-economic deprivation but a sign of inherited low IQ; blacks are predatory and are also seen to have an innate streak of savagery, which unless kept down by brute force from time to time, might explode and destroy civilisation.

Racism in the USA:

Despite the civil war over slavery, and the civil rights movement for dignity and equality, systemic discrimination and violence against blacks persists. Racism continues unabated.