WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick has issued this statement following his vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act:
Last year, in the wake of eroding police-community relations, and as the sole FBI Agent in Congress, I sought to take on a leadership role in bridging that gap and taking steps to bring forth much-needed healing to the communities of our nation. In that regard, along with several of my colleagues, we agreed to send HR 7120 to the Senate—legislation that called for needed reform, but legislation that we were also aware had several flaws, mainly regarding qualified immunity.
On July 1, 2020, I spoke on the House Floor to make clear the imperative need for these changes to be acted upon before this process continued to move forward. In the following months, my colleagues and I in the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus worked tirelessly and in good faith to put together a police reform package proposal that would garner strong, bipartisan, bicameral support, as it supported our law enforcement and also enacted meaningful reforms that would heal police-community relations. After much thoughtful and diligent bipartisan work, we were confident and ready to bring our proposal to the Floor so that we could address and resolve this issue once and for all.
Yet, once again, despite all of our work, House leadership is ignoring our bipartisan fixes and choosing to put forth legislation that seeks to erode and do away with qualified immunity altogether. If this legislation is recklessly implemented, there is no question that it would, in turn, do significant damage to the law enforcement profession and ultimately make communities across our nation less safe. As a lifelong FBI Agent and staunch, fervent supporter of law enforcement, I simply cannot allow this to take place.
This legislation has failed to implement the needed fixes to protect the brave women and men of our law enforcement, who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. To all of our law enforcement heroes, please know that I continue to have your back and will do everything in my power to protect you from any efforts to undermine you, your families, and your honorable profession of public and community service. Our community appreciates you, is grateful for you, and loves you for your incredible service to not only us, but to our country. To House Leadership: when you are ready to come to the table, we look forward to working with you and actually solving the problem. No longer can we advance purely partisan, impractical ideological proposals; we must build a bridge and unite to put forth a unified solution.