Baldwin co-signs bill to overhaul American policing.

If passed, the bill would pacify policing tactics and strengthen accountability measures. Photo: US Senate, public domain. Graphic: Sam Buisman

Author: Sam Buisman

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin signs onto the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, a bill to reform American police and the systems that hold them accountable.

The Senator announced Monday afternoon that she is co-sponsoring the legislation, originally introduced by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, along with 32 of her Democratic colleagues in the Senate. If passed, the bill would restrict certain policing tactics, including placing a ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and take new measures to hold police accountable for their misconduct, such as by creating a National Police Misconduct Registry and requiring police departments to report their use of force data. 

Addressing the decision in a press release, Baldwin described the bill as an answer to the cries of protestors.

“The pain people are expressing through peaceful protests is real,” wrote the Senator. “I see it, I hear the calls for change and I know we have to work to heal the wounds of racism in our country. We can say liberty and justice for all, but we need to make sure everyone can live this value.”

For two weeks, the United States has been shaken by protests over the killing of George Floyd, a black man who was killed when a white former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes.

Madison’s own demonstrations extended into their tenth straight day with a picnic in front of the Madison Municipal Building Monday night.

If passed, this bill would mark a seismic shift in US policing policy, as almost all such decisions on police training, tactics and accountability measures have traditionally been left to local and state governments. However, there is a poor chance that the bill will survive in its current form in the Republican-controlled Senate.