Press Releases

Rep. Wexton Announces Support for Justice in Policing Act of 2020

Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) signed on as a co-sponsor of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. This legislation would provide sweeping reforms that address the discriminatory and excessive policing practices that have impacted Black communities across America and led to the recent killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

"The horrifying murder of George Floyd awoke the conscience of America to a generations-old system of racial injustice. Since then, Americans in all 50 states and every part of my district have taken to the streets to demand action and real change,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “The Justice in Policing Act will implement meaningful reforms to increase transparency and accountability in policing, building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. These measures, while critical, are just one step forward to address a deeply unequal system of justice. As a former prosecutor and defense attorney, I’ve witnessed firsthand the disparate application of justice toward Black Americans and I know more needs to be done. I’ll keep listening and working toward concrete legislative solutions that address the racial inequities that exist in all of our institutions."

This bill takes historic steps to reform policing in communities across the country by establishing a national standard for law enforcement accreditation, mandating data collection on police use of force, reprogramming existing funds to invest in community-based policing efforts, and streamlining federal law to prosecute excessive use of force and establishing independent prosecutors for police investigations.

In Congress, Wexton cosponsored legislation to require federal police officers to wear body cameras and has been a vocal advocate for this provision since the shooting of Bijan Ghaisar by the U.S. Park Police. Notably, this legislation was included in the Justice in Policing Act. 

Other key provisions in the legislation include:

  • Banning the use of chokeholds;
  • Ending the use of no-knock warrants for drug cases;
  • Making lynching a federal hate crime;
  • Prohibiting law enforcement from racial and other discriminatory profiling;
  • Limiting the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local police;
  • Establishing a national police misconduct database; and
  • Creating a training program to cover racial bias, implicit bias, procedural justice, and the duty to intervene.

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 was introduced this week by Congressional Democrats, led by the Congressional Black Caucus, as demonstrations demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice continue around the country.

Congresswoman Wexton has joined several peaceful protests across Virginia’s 10th District over the past two weeks, and hosted a virtual community conversation on racial injustice with local leaders last Saturday.

Prior to holding elected office, Wexton served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Loudoun County, a court-appointed attorney and a special justice in mental health commitment hearings, and a Substitute Judge in Loudoun’s district courts.

The full text of the bill can be found here. A summary of the bill can be found here