Questioning Experts at a Hearing on Police Practices and Accountability

June 12, 2020
Enewsletters

Dear Friend,

This week I returned to Washington to participate in the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Police Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability. Earlier in the week, I cosponsored the Justice in Policing Act that contains major elements of three bills which I have long sponsored. I also updated my official website with valuable information regarding the pandemic response: cohen.house.gov; announced major grants to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to study diabetes, aging and vision; attended a hearing on frontline transportation workers’ experience during the ongoing pandemic; announced a literacy grant to the University of Memphis; reminded constituents to fill out Census forms; and again offered coronavirus-related health tips. Continue reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.

Questioning Experts at a Hearing on Police Practices and Accountability
Cosponsoring the Justice in Policing Act
Returning to Washington
Keeping Constituents Up to Date with Response to Coronavirus
Announcing UTHSC Grants for Diabetes, Aging and Vision Research
Attending Hearing on Frontline Transportation Workers during Pandemic
Announcing Literacy Grant for University of Memphis
Filling Out Census Forms
Health Tip
Quote of the Week
 


Questioning Experts at a Hearing on Police Practices and Accountability

I returned to Washington this week to participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Police Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability. The hearing’s witnesses included Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police, who made a moving tribute to his brother while asking us to take real action. I concentrated my questions on aspects of the Justice in Policing Act that I have long championed: independent review of incidents of deadly force, a national database of such incidents and updates to civil rights laws to better hold law enforcement officers accountable for misconduct. See my release and my questioning of witnesses here.

Cosponsoring the Justice in Policing Act

On Monday, I cosponsored the Justice in Policing Act, which incorporates my National Statistics on Deadly Force Transparency Act (H.R. 119), Police CAMERA Act (H.R. 120), and Police Training and Independent Review Act (H.R. 125). This comprehensive measure is expected to move swiftly to passage in the House. See my release on it here. Also Monday, I held a press conference to explain highlights of the bill. See that here.

Returning to Washington

My return to Washington this week showed me just how stark a change has come to our capital city. The streets of downtown D.C. are lined with boarded up windows in a way we haven’t seen in Memphis. During a lunch break in Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing, held at the Capitol Visitor Center auditorium so we could maintain safe social distancing, I walked through the cavernous Emancipation Hall alone and took time to read the new exhibit of Women’s Suffrage I hadn’t seen before. There was not even a security guard around; you could hear a pin drop. When I returned to my office in the Rayburn Building for the first time in weeks, no one walked the normally bustling halls. I read a tray of constituent letters alone. This crisis has changed Washington.

Keeping Constituents Up to Date with Response to Coronavirus

Please visit my official website, cohen.house.gov, to find a wide array of resources related to the local, state and federal response to the pandemic, including applications for benefits and eligibility rules for new programs. Also, know that you can always reach out to my offices in Memphis (901-544-4131) or D.C. (202-225-3265). Leave a message and someone on my staff, or I, will be in touch.

Announcing UTHSC Grants for Diabetes, Aging and Vision Research

Also Monday, I announced a substantial grant to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) for research into hemodialysis. See that release here. On Saturday, I announced UTHSC would receive a grant to study aging. See that release here. On Friday, I announced a grant for vision research. See that here.

Attending Hearing on Frontline Transportation Workers during Pandemic

Before returning to Washington, I attended a virtual hearing of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on how frontline transportation workers are coping in the era of Covid-19. As a senior member of the Subcommittee on Aviation who successfully persuaded the airlines to require passengers and crews to wear facemasks in flight, I was disturbed by the testimony of Susannah Carr, a United Airlines flight attendant representing the Association of Flight Attendants, who said that many airlines are recommending the use of facemasks but not mandating their use.

Announcing Literacy Grant for University of Memphis

On Thursday, the University of Memphis received a major grant addressing adult illiteracy. See that release here.

Filling Out Census Forms

By now you will have received two or more reminders that this is a U.S. Census year and that you can fill out the forms online at 2020Census.gov. I did mine online in a matter of minutes. Help your community get its fair share of our national resources. Consider filling out the forms today.

Health Tip

As I have over the past several weeks, I want to urge my friends to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols for staying safe in this ongoing pandemic: Wash your hands frequently for at least 25 seconds; keep a minimum social distance of six feet from others; wear a face mask when out in public; and avoid being in crowds of more than 10. We will get through this together.  

Quote of the Week

“George’s calls for help were ignored. Please listen to the call I’m making to you now, to the calls of our family, and to the calls ringing out in the streets across the world. People of all backgrounds, genders and races have come together to demand change. Honor them. Honor George. And make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution – and not the problem. Hold them accountable when they do something wrong. Teach them what it means to treat people with empathy and respect.” -- Philonise Floyd, the younger brother of George Floyd, at Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on Police Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability.

As always, I remain
Most sincerely,

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Steve Cohen
Member of Congress
 

 

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