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H.R. 6382 (109th): Law Enforcement Abuse Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006

The text of the bill below is as of Dec 6, 2006 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. R. 6382


December 6, 2006

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To deny Federal assistance to any State or local law enforcement agencies whose officers use excessive force or violence leading to the death of innocent or unarmed citizens, or who fail to establish, enforce, and follow transparent and accountable procedures that fully protect the lives and health of citizens during surveillance, interrogation, arrest or imprisonment from torture, excessive physical or psychological abuse and death, and to require a system of transparent legal and public review of such allegations and cases that can result in the sanction, punishment, and removal of officers who perpetrate such abuses or their superiors.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Law Enforcement Abuse Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006.



Congress finds the following:


American law enforcement has a fundamental duty to provide compassion, aid, and protection and safety to the people it serves.


A primary function of law enforcement is to preserve life, regardless of the race, ethnicity, religion, social or economic standing, sexual preference, or country of origin of the individuals involved.


Over many years, thousands of cases of State and local law enforcement agency violations of suspects, detainees, and prisoners went inadequately addressed across the United States, especially in African-American communities and other communities of color or poverty.


In recent years, procedures, training, and public oversight have failed to significantly curb or eliminate abuses and murders of innocent suspects and citizens at the hands of officers of the law, to fully investigate claims of excessive use of force, or to adequately reprimand, punish, or remove such offenders or their superiors.


A special prosecutor in Chicago has been investigating a police abuse ring that operated over three decades with impunity, responsible for torturing over 200 African-American males in their custody at the Area 2 and Area 3 police headquarters.


Since the 1997 New York Police Department torture of Abner Louima, and the fatal shooting of Amadou Bailo Diallo in 1999, public and media attention concerning abuse of power and the unjustified and improper use of force by law enforcement in communities of color has continuously increased, as have the number of outraged community responses and the demands for external oversight of police practices.


More recently, police in Chicago on November 25, 2006, police officers in New York City shot 50 times and killed an unarmed man, Sean Bell. The next day, a community rally protested the police action and called for the removal of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.


Fatal shootings and abuse of suspects and prisoners have come to light again recently in other cities, including Atlanta, Georgia, and DeKalb County, Georgia.


Every major State and local city law enforcement agency receives and depends on some level of Federal funding, training, grants, or assistance, paid for primarily from the tax revenues of the citizens being abused.


The common and continuing unaccountable behavior and silence of members of law enforcement agencies regarding these abuses are a disgrace to the efforts of law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and should not be tolerated.


The lack of transparency, oversight, community involvement, independent review and investigation, and consequences to the law enforcement violators makes continuing abuse more likely, and must be reversed by denying Federal funding to any law enforcement agency that fails to establish a minimum of professional training and procedures of engagement; that tolerates abuses or fatal use of excessive force; that fails to operate under rules of transparency and community oversight, investigation, and review; that fails to discipline, remove, or otherwise hold accountable any perpetrators acting under the color of law enforcement; or that refuses to fairly hear each case or allegation of possible abuse or excessive use of force by law enforcement officers, reviewed by an established and independent forum.


Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that the dishonorable actions referred to in section 2 should be independently investigated, recorded, and condemned.


Ineligibility for Federal assistance


In general

During the 1-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, or until transparency and accountability are fully restored, law enforcement agencies that do not have established procedures for independent oversight and review, or do not hold violations by police of excessive use of force, torture, or manslaughter accountable, shall be ineligible to participate in any Federal program, whether by funding, assistance, contract, grant, personnel support, or otherwise.



During the 1-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, any Federal license issued to any such law enforcement agencies shall be suspended, or until transparency and accountability are fully restored.



Law enforcement agencies identified as carrying out abuses or wrongful deaths, without consequence or open public review or allegations, shall immediately return all federally-owned equipment in the possession or use of such law enforcement agencies to the appropriate Federal agency.


Law enforcement agencies defined

In this Act, the term law enforcement agencies means the following entities in any State or locality within the control and jurisdiction of the United States receiving Federal funds for training, equipment, or other support.