Kenyatta applauds historic passage of police reform bills

HARRISBURG, June 24 State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., applauded the historic unanimous House passage of two of 19 bills that aim to provide police reforms.

The bills, H.B. 1841 and H.B. 1910, would reform policing practices in Pennsylvania by mandating that police officers undergo PTSD evaluation after resorting to lethal force and creating a database that tracks disciplinary actions searchable by law enforcement agencies evaluating prospective hires.

“The passage of these bills in the House is the first to reforming a system that we know is broken. Every Black and brown person in this chamber and across our commonwealth is all too familiar with that gut-wrenching feeling when those red and blue lights pull you over. That feeling is from the uncertainty of not knowing if that encounter will end safely,” Kenyatta said. “I am proud to see this chamber unanimously heed the calls of our citizens who are calling upon us to take action in ensuring lives are protected and law enforcement is held accountable.”

In the House chamber, Kenyatta, who is a member of the newly created Police Working Reform Group, gave impassioned remarks about the need to ensure the passage of these two pieces of legislation become one of many steps taken toward progress in reforming policing in the commonwealth.

Invoking the names of Antwon Rose, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd—all victims of police brutality—and pointing to multiple counties that have hosted daily demonstrations in the last 24 days following Floyd’s death, Kenyatta stressed that legislators must continue efforts to end more names from being added to this list.

Video of Kenyatta’s floor remarks can be found here.