Fighting for Criminal Justice Reform & Demanding Police Accountability
Powerful protests against police brutality are sweeping the nation. Candace knows first hand the harm that the overcriminalization of black and brown bodies causes to individuals, families and communities - below, she has laid out a bold policy reform plan drawing on the expertise ofCampaign Zero, a national advocacy and research organization committed to ending the excessive use of force by police in our communities.
Candace also understands that the frustration of protestors and their calls for reform go well beyond discriminatory policing. To create lasting structural change, we need a nuanced and multi-disciplinary approach to reform. Candace knows the complexities of racial inequities in our communities. As an educator, Candace saw how black and brown students as young as pre-K often received disproportionate punishments for acting up in class. As a child, Candace and her siblings experienced the same inordinately harsh and criminalized treatment that too many black and brown kids still face today. That’s why she worked to shut-down the school-to-prison pipeline while on the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school board and will continue to fight to nip injustice in the bud while in Congress.
To achieve true racial justice in America, we need deep structural reforms across our criminal justice system, across our health care system, across our public housing system, and across our education system.That’s the agenda Candace supports, and that’s the perspective she’ll bring to Congress.
In Congress, Candace will:
- Support the Congressional Black Caucus endorsed Justice in Policing Act of 2020 which would:
- ban the use of chokeholds;
- establish a national database to track misconduct and the use of force across police departments;
- end the use of no-knock warrants;
- ensure police are held accountable in criminal court by changing the mens rea standard for prosecuting police misconduct from “wilfulness” to “recklessness;”
- demilitarize the police by winding down the federal government’s 1033 program which currently allows local police departments to access military-grade weaponry at almost no cost;
- end qualified immunity, a civil liability shield for police officers that allows them to act with near impunity.
- Work with communities to establish alternatives to respond to mental health crises and other emergency response situations in which a social worker would be a more appropriate responder than an armed police officer.
- Build an all-civilian oversight structure for police departments to ensure that officers are held accountable by the public rather than investigated by their peers.
- Pressure local police departments to remodel their training and use of force policies to emphasize de-escalation by making access to federal grant funds dependent on reform and demand that de-escalation and cultural sensitivity re-certification be done periodically.
- Support efforts to require automatic investigation and review of all cases in which a police officer kills a person, and mandate that the results of the investigation be made available to the public.
- Create incentives, through federal grant funds, for police departments to recruit and hire a police force that is representative of the communities they serve.
- Work to end the role of money as a factor in the administration of justice by ending the cash bail system and eliminating private prisons.