In the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and others at the hands of law enforcement officers, ASAN announces its support for H.R. 2302, the Police Training and Independent Review Act. The bill would make certain federal funding of state law enforcement agencies contingent upon the agency’s establishment of independent prosecutors to investigate and, as necessary, prosecute the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. The bill would also require law enforcement agencies to train officers on a variety of related subjects, including training on disability, as a condition of receiving certain federal funding.
We believe that this bill represents an effective way for the federal government to address and hold accountable the use of excessive force by police. ASAN supports legislative measures that, rather than ignoring the inputs that lead to this type of violence, take measures to address them. We recognize that the underlying causes of police violence are complex and systemic, and that police violence disproportionately affects people of color, people with disabilities, and in particular people of color with disabilities. It is our duty as a nation to ensure that this violence ends and that independent structures of accountability are put in place to address it.
ASAN urges the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Liberties to immediately hold a hearing on the bill. We believe that it is critical to address the issues that the bill raises promptly, and add our voice to the broad coalition of civil rights calling for action. We urge the disability community as a whole to mobilize in support of this legislation. For more information on ASAN’s positions on this bill, please contact Julia Bascom, our Deputy Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.