The Federal Police Accountability Act of 2020

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The Federal Police Accountability Act of 2020

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The ChangeMovement started this petition to Representative Maxine Waters and

This petition is to create change in the policing of citizens of the United States of America. As evident in the history of police brutality and discriminatory practices (e.g. loss of life, racism in police forces, racial profiling of specific ethnic groups, inhumane treatment of individuals and groups by police officers, framing of individuals etc), we (affected Americans) believe in accountability and harsher  penalties/consequences for officers who’ve committed these blatant and heinous acts of prejudice and violence. It is necessary that a uniform policy of acceptable policing is initiated, created and enforced on a federal level. A federal task force/agency needs to be established to enforce a set of conduct policies to protect Americans while establishing an aspect of trust with police officers/forces and the communities they police. 

To initiate accountability, we believe a federal agency must be established to set national law enforcement policies and standards. This agency would uphold and enforce these standards, act as a third party in mediating and resolving issues between citizens and local police departments as well as maintain responsible policing that protects the rights of citizens against abusive behavior. A government committee would create and set policing standards including the seed ideas identified and included in this petition. The spirit of these standards seeks to improve the current problems in law enforcement policies/practices with a forceful stamping out of abuses and vigilantism perpetrated by officers.

Important elements of a federal policy include a stringent national eligibility standard for employment into law enforcement positions. Specific to an eligibility standard, a thorough and in-depth inquiry into the applicant’s psychological state and mental fit for the position, family background, social affiliations, academic record K-12, criminal record, and a probe into questionable associations. Eligibility standards would be on par or exceed that of professions with the highest standards of entry. Combined with the eligibility standard, a professional conduct policy would match and/or exceed that of the nations’ most ethical and accountable professions. At a foundational level, the conduct policy will establish a base of ethical and moral behavior signed by and upheld by individuals hired into law enforcement positions. Details of the conduct policy will be established by a government committee in conjunction with public/social organizations that represent the voice/needs of the people.

A national performance and accountability system will be established and made public on a federally established website. Police accountability would include officers having to be bonded and insured with annual review (to assess risk) by a third party of insurability based on performance ratings/metrics as well as egregious violation of conduct policy. Officers found (by verbal complaint/grievance and third party review of audio/video) to have committed clear abuses against a citizen(s) as indicated by violation of conduct policy will be subject to immediate loss of insurance and employment. In conjunction with local departments, this federal task force will work with local departments to oversee new Internal Affairs policies in order to track officer’s employment and identify questionable affiliations and group associations.

An officer rating system will be made public with a listing of officers positive and negative actions for and against the community they police. A federal website of the country’s police officers including precinct, badge number and years of service would be made public with an online complaint system for reporting of officers good and bad conduct. An officer will be subject to performance review based on the officer’s rating score falling below a level deemed unacceptable according to established federal performance standards. Complaints of egregious and abusive behavior will be reviewed weekly leading to investigation in conjunction with the department of the offending officer. Furthermore, all officer involved shootings will be automatically reviewed for fault and justification. Those officers under investigation will be placed on paid leave until the investigation has been resolved. Officers found to have violated the federal conduct policy (depending on severity) will be subject to mandatory re-training, suspensions, steep increases in liability insurance premiums, loss of employment as well as any other criminal charges prosecuted by an independent counsel (as opposed to DA).

Officers must receive mandatory annual cultural competence training with a designation stated in their online federal police profile. Officers will be required to maintain annual certified federal policing training to be listed on their federal profile. Specific among these is an annual de-escalation/safe and appropriate detainment methods training. Each officer will be subject to minimum once a month psychotherapy as condition of employment.

Officer employment contracts would be renewed between 2-5 years (longer renewal periods for officers who have demonstrated positive performance.) Officers who have exhibited exemplary conduct will be nationally recognized and will receive a salary or vacation bonus by their local department. Officers whose performance ratings are consistently above the national standard will be eligible for additional bonuses included raises, days off and other perks as rewards for performance.

Officers found to have committed acts of violence (abuses) and/or repeated and egregious violation of federal policing conduct policy will be terminated and not allowed to return to law enforcement in any capacity. The federal policy conduct will be reviewed and amended annually in conjunction with social organizations representing the voice of American citizens as new issues arise.

The objective of this federal policy is to enforce the mission statement of many police organizations “to serve and protect” while weeding out and punishing vigilante officers who threaten, abuse and violate the rights of American citizens of all races, gender, disability and ethnic communities. This policy is to be titled, “The Federal Police Accountability Act of 2020.”

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