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The tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Sean Monterrosa and many others by law enforcement officers are horrific reminders of the legacy of systemic racism in the United States. Commenting on the current situation, Pope Francis said: “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.” As people of faith who see the image of God in the lives of those killed by police, we must work in solidarity with communities of color in demanding significant reforms now.

These killings make plain the immediate need for transformational change in policing in our country. The death of George Floyd once again calls into question the use of force, especially chokeholds, by law enforcement officers. Breonna Taylor was killed as a result of a “no-knock warrant” that allows officers to enter a property without warning inhabitants prior to entry. Violent state and local law enforcement responses to demonstrations in the wake of these deaths offer a stark example of the ongoing militarization of police.

In recent weeks and in partnership with interfaith and secular organizations, the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology and the Ignatian Solidarity Network are calling for federal police reform legislation that addresses the following key areas:

These changes alone will not end police violence against communities of color, but they are achievable steps towards meaningful change. We urge you to reach out to your elected officials to let them know that any policing legislation must address, at a minimum, these core issues.

The House of Representatives has passed the Justice in Policing Act, which addresses these and other important issues. As the Senate begins to review potential legislation, please join us in demanding that they take immediate action to address the social sin of police violence.

Tell your Senator to Enact Meaningful Policing Reforms Now