Rabb commends unanimous affirmative vote for police accountability, safety legislation H.B. 1841
HARRISBURG, June 24 – State Rep. Chris Rabb today expressed tremendous gratitude to his House colleagues for their unanimous support of H.B. 1841 which would improve police accountability and safety.
“This is personal to me,” Rabb said, before quoting a passage his great-great-great-grandfather, Rev. Amos Noë Freeman, co-authored with four other men, including Frederick Douglass, for the Colored National Convention in July 1853.
‘We ask that in our native land, we shall not be treated as strangers, and worse than strangers.
‘We ask that, being friends of America, we should not be treated as enemies of America.
‘We ask that, speaking the same language and being of the same religion, worshipping the same God, owing our redemption to the same Savior, and learning our duties from the same Bible, we shall not be treated as barbarians.’
Rabb, whose legislation to require law enforcement to keep detailed personnel records to improve transparency and accountability was added as an amendment to H.B. 1841, said he had just recently learned of that passage co-authored by his great-great-great-grandfather. Reading his ancestor’s dreams, and seeing his children grow in the world today – where Black people are still working so hard to be treated as friends and not strangers, including by law enforcement officers who are sworn to serve all members of the community –has helped Rabb to see the kind of role model and leader he wants to be. It is what fuels his desire to create a justice system that works for everyone, where police accountability and safety are realized, he said.
“In this moment, we are acknowledging and affirming everyone's humanity and belief that everyone should be held to the same high standard of excellence, that we believe in transparency and accountability," Rabb said in the House chamber during legislative session. “In this moment, because of all the fingerprints that are on this seminal piece of legislation that will put the Keystone State not just on the map, but at the very top in terms of policing and what responsibility looks like, we can take great pride.”
Rabb, who has been tending to legislative business remotely as often as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19, said he wanted to be in the Capitol Monday to look all those who voted in support of H.B. 1841 in the eye and thank them for their support.
H.B. 1841 “is a step in the right direction, it is a big step," Rabb said. "There are more to come, but today was the beginning."
H.B. 1841 will go to the Senate for consideration.