PA Legislative Black Caucus statement on anniversary of George Floyd's death

HARRISBURG, May 25 – On the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer and convicted murderer Derek Chauvin, the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus released a statement on the state of race relations, police reform and the road ahead.

“On this anniversary, let’s not say his name in vain,” said PLBC Chair state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila. “Let not our calls for accountability and justice be used to inflate budgets but rather, let our calls for substantive police reform be heard and included in discussions, not diluted, ignored and waived off. We marched, we prayed, we demanded, and we saw some change. Yet, we still have work to do.”

“George Floyd should be alive today, but instead, he joins the long list of Black people who were targets of police violence,” said House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “We have the power to enact real change within policing across Pennsylvania. We must hold bad actors accountable, end systemic racism and save lives.”

“One year after the murder of George Floyd, our country and state have much more to do to increase police accountability and professionalism,” said state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny. “The work of our advocates, community members and families of those killed has pushed the legislative process to the point that we are today, and now, we as members of the General Assembly must do more to address police brutality.”

Members of the PLBC have introduced legislation that addresses these important issues. In this legislative session, they include:

  • H.B. 1086 (Reps. Donna Bullock and Brian Sims) – Require police officers statewide to have their badge, with pertinent identifiable information, visible at all times, without exception. 
  • H.B. package 1198, 1199 (Reps. Ed Gainey and Morgan Cephas) – False Reports to Law Enforcement package.
  • H.B. 533 (Rep. Austin Davis) – Citizens Police Review Board.
  • H.B. 870 (Rep. Stephen Kinsey) – Banning chokeholds and positional asphyxia by law enforcement.
  • H.B. 626 (Reps. Dan Miller and Austin Davis) Transparency in recording law enforcement.
  • H.B. 676 (Reps. Brian Sims and Summer Lee) Special prosecutor for police deadly force cases
  • S.B. 45 (Sen. Vincent Hughes) – Create a more explicit and just standard for the use of force by police.
  • S.B. 105 (Sen. Sharif Street) – Demilitarize local law enforcement agencies.

Additional policing bills to be introduced by PLBC members include:

  • Law Enforcement Deadly Use of Force - previously introduced as H.B. 1664 in the prior session (Reps. Summer Lee and Ed Gainey).
  • Addressing Arbitration/Act 111 Reform - previously introduced as H.B. 2602 in the prior session (Reps. Donna Bullock, Jake Wheatley, and Chris Rabb).
  • Certification and Decertification Process for Police Officers - previously introduced as H.B. 1812 in the prior session (Rep. Jake Wheatley).