Congress passes ‘Death in Custody Reporting Act’ requiring deadly cop altercations to go to DOJ

Talk about a knee-jerk reaction.

Thursday night, in response to the protests over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the Senate passed the “Death in Custody Reporting Act,” which also passed the House by voice vote.

The legislation was co-sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rand Paul, R-Ky. In the House, it was sponsored by House Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va.

“The stark, staggering fact is that the nation has no reliable idea how many Americans die during arrests or police custody each year. This legislation will fix that unacceptable factual gap,” Blumenthal wrote in a joint news release of the bill’s sponsors.

“It is clear that the federal government needs to exercise greater oversight of federal, state and local law enforcement personnel to ensure that they are protecting and serving our citizens,” Scott added.

Yes, that’s exactly what law enforcement needs, more federal government involvement. Maybe they can fix this issue the same way they “fixed” healthcare.

“Passage of this bill is an important step in Congress assessing and reforming our criminal justice system,” Paul wrote. “As a result, we will for the first time get a true picture of the extent and circumstances of deaths in the criminal justice system. I congratulate Rep. Scott and Sen. Blumenthal on passing this bill and will continue working with them on other necessary reforms.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, praised the legislation.

“This bill provides a step towards accountability, and it is my hope that it may ultimately lead to restoring some measure of trust in these communities,” he said in the release.

Yeah, except for the trust the cops need to have in knowing that they have the freedom to protect themselves and the community.

Imagine every time officers are faced with the prospect of drawing their weapon, wondering if it’s going to cost them their career.

These men and women have to make split second decisions and any hesitation may cost them their lives, or the life of someone else. There is no time for indecision. A much better solution would be a bill that gives harsher punishments to those who resist arrest.

Senator Dick Durbin praised the legislation on Twitter and was roundly taken to task.

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Carmine Sabia

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