Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) today announced the establishment of a working group to examine police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues. The bipartisan working group will hold a series of roundtables, starting with a private roundtable in Washington, D.C., to candidly discuss the issues fueling excessive force used by law enforcement and attacks against police officers and will invite outside leaders on this issue to meet with the working group.
Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers issued the statement below on the formation of this working group:
“Our nation’s conscience has been rocked by a series of tragic events that has resulted in the loss of too many lives. Most recently, five Dallas police officers were murdered in cold blood last week, and two men were fatally shot by law enforcement in Baton Rouge and St. Paul. We mourn the loss of all of these lives and want to see an end to this violence.
“It’s clear that more must be done to end excessive use of force, strengthen police accountability, prevent violent attacks on law enforcement and improve the relationship between police officers and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve. These issues are not going to be solved overnight and they won’t be solved by Congress alone. Our goal in creating this working group is to discuss these issues candidly with each another so that we can begin to find common ground on these matters of national importance.”
Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers will lead the working group. Members of the working group are: Representatives Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Will Hurd (R-Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and Robin Kelly (D-Ill.).
The first private roundtable will be held on Thursday, July 14, 2016. The working group has invited Reverend Doctor DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, and Deborah A. Ramirez, the Executive Director for Partnering for Prevention and Community Safety Initiative and Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, to participate.