House Republicans on Wednesday took a step to repeal Washington, DC’s police reform bill, which was inspired by the death of George Floyd but, according to GOP lawmakers, at a time when crime is rising in the nation’s capital, ” against the police”.
The House Oversight and Accountability Committee met to discuss a resolution that would disapprove of DC Council’s 2022 legislation — the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act. This law includes several police reforms, including restrictions on the use of tear gas, a ban on neck restraints, and the required release of body camera footage of incidents where police use force.
By a vote of 21 to 17, the committee passed the resolution disapproving of the law, ushering in the third vote this year on the House floor on resolutions increasing DC laws.
Republicans said there was no point in DC passing laws that make it harder for police to do their jobs.
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Committee chair James Comer, R-Ky., said DC law gives the public access to DC police personal information, some fears could be used to harass police off-duty. He said this type of policy has caused 1,190 police officers to leave the country, almost a third of the force, over the past three years.
“DC citizens and visitors to our nation’s capital deserve to feel safe, and our police force deserves to have the resources to keep everyone safe,” Comer said.
“As the Metropolitan Police Department grapples with the district’s ongoing crime crisis amid an historic staffing shortage, the DC Council is determined to enact a deeply flawed law that prevents officers from effectively protecting and serving Americans in Washington,” he said Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., who sponsored the resolution. “We must now quickly block this anti-police measure to ensure our nation’s capital is safe for all Americans.”
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s non-voting delegate, said that while the constitution allows Congress to oversee the district, that doesn’t mean it is required in every case.
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“Please keep your hands off DC,” she said.
The committee vote came just hours after the DC Council leader told the House Oversight and Accountability Committee that “there is no crime crisis in Washington, DC.”
Republicans and even some Democrats have dismissed this analysis. This month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia reported that 67% of all arrests in 2022 went unprosecuted, more than double the number in 2021, and many argue that the failure to prosecute so many crimes , criminals encouraged.
The Constitution gives Congress the power to police DC, and that power was further specified in the District of Columbia Home Rule Act. A DC law can be overturned by Congress if the House and Senate pass a resolution disapproving of that law and if the resolution is signed by the President.
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In February, the House of Representatives voted against two DC Council bills. One law allows non-citizens and illegal immigrants to vote in the district, while the other reduces penalties for violent crimes.
President Biden surprised some Democrats by signing the resolution disapproving of the criminal bill, which was supported by dozens of Democrats in the House and Senate. While the White House initially said it could not support the resolution, many believe Biden has come under pressure to support the push to combat rising crime rates in Washington, which is visited by millions of tourists each year.
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Several House Democrats also joined Republicans to pass the resolution ending non-citizen voting in DC, but that bill has yet to go through the Senate.
Source : www.foxnews.com