(Extensions of Remarks - March 15, 2000)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E321]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                         HON. JOHN CONYERS, JR.

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, March 15, 2000

  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce the Law 
Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act of 2000, along with additional 
cosponsors. This legislation is supported by both police and civil 
rights organizations around the country and is aimed at curbing 
outrages like the Los Angeles Rampart Division perjury scandal and 
tragedies such as the Amadou Diallo shooting. Unlike past measures, the 
Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act of 2000 takes a comprehensive 
approach at addressing the issue of police accountability and building 
trust between police departments and their communities.
  The purpose of the legislation is to build trust between law 
enforcement entities, officials and the people they serve. 
Specifically, the legislation provides incentives for local police 
organizations to voluntarily adopt performance-based standards to 
ensure that incidents of misconduct will be minimized through 
appropriate management, training and oversight protocols and that if 
such incidents occur, that they will be properly investigated. The bill 
also provides police officers--the vast majority of whom are decent 
people who are concerned about their communities--with the tools 
necessary to work with their communities and to enhance their 
professional growth and education.
  Specifically, our bill makes 12 concrete steps toward improving law 
enforcement management and misconduct prosecution tools and has the 
support of a broad range of legal, community-based and law enforcement 
groups, including: the NAACP; Urban League; LULAC; NCLR; National Asian 
Pacific Legal Consortium; National Lawyer's Guild; ACLU; NOBLE; 
National Black Police Association; and the United Methodist Church.
  1. Accreditation of Local Law Enforcement Agencies--Authorizes the 
Department of Justice to work cooperatively with independent 
accreditation, law enforcement and community-based organizations to 
further develop and refine accreditation standards that can serve as 
models for police departments around the country in trying to balance 
proper law enforcement with respect for liberties. This section also 
authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to law enforcement 
agencies for the purpose of developing such standards and obtaining 
appropriate certification.
  2. Law Enforcement Agency Development Programs--Authorizes the 
Attorney General to make grants to States and local governments to 
develop pilot programs such as civilian review boards, early warning 
and detection programs which have been proven effective in many 
  3. Administrative Due Process Procedures--Requires the Attorney 
General to study the prevalence and impact of any law, rule or 
procedure which interferes with prompt and thorough investigations of 
  4. Enhanced Funding of Civil Rights Division--Authorizes 
appropriations for expenses for ongoing investigations of pattern-and-
practice-of-abuse investigations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 14141, and 
authorizes appropriations for expenses related to programs managed by 
the Community Relations Service.
  5. Enhanced Authority in Pattern and Practice Investigations--Amends 
42 U.S.C. 14141 to provide private cause of actions, but limits the 
provision only to declaratory and injunctive relief when there is a 
pattern and practice of discrimination.
  6. Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law--Amends section 242 of 
Title 18 of the United States Code to provide the needed statutory 
clarification requested by the Department of Justice to expressly 
define excessive use of force and non-consensual sexual conduct as 
deprivations of rights under color of law.
  7. Study of Deaths in Custody--Amends section 20101(b) of the Violent 
Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C.A. 13701) to 
require assurances that States will follow guidelines established by 
the Attorney General for reporting deaths in custody.
  8. National Task Force on Law Enforcement Oversight--Requires the 
Department of Justice to establish a task force to coordinate the 
investigation, prosecution and enforcement efforts of federal, state 
and local governments in cases related to law enforcement misconduct.
  9. Immigration Enforcement Review Commission--Creates a commission to 
investigate civil rights complaints against the INS and Customs 
Services, with authority to make policy and disciplinary 
  10. Federal Data Collection on Racial Profiling--Requires the 
Justice, Treasury and Interior Departments to collect data concerning 
the personal characteristics (race, ethnicity and gender) of 
individuals targeted for investigation (e.g., detention, traffic stop 
or warrantless search) by federal law enforcement agencies and requires 
the Justice Department to prepare a ``master report'' analyzing the 
findings and recommending improved policies and procedures.
  11. Whistleblower Protection--The bill establishes civil and criminal 
penalties for retaliation against law enforcement officers who in good 
faith disclose, initiate or advocate on behalf of a civilian 
complainant in actions alleging police misconduct and creates private 
cause of action for retaliation.
  12. Sexual Abuse in Correctional Facilities--Amends chapter 109A of 
title 18 to increase penalties and expand jurisdiction for sexual abuse 
offenses in correctional facilities.
  The catalogue of high-profile incidents of police misconduct grows 
with each passing day. With the Rampart perjury scandal, Amadou Diallo 
shooting and Abner Louima assault, it should now be clear to all 
members, and the nation at-large, that police misconduct is an issue 
that we must address in a bipartisan manner. The energies of Congress 
should be focused on the adoption of legislative priorities that 
address the substance of law enforcement management and strengthen the 
current battery of tools available to sanction misconduct.
  As a Congress we have been enthusiastic about supporting programs 
designed to get officers on the street. We must be just as willing to 
support programs designed to train and manage them after they get 
there. The current national climate requires decisive action to 
implement solutions. This legislation initiates the reforms necessary 
to restore public trust and accountability to law enforcement.