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H.R. 5777 (116th): Police Accountability Act of 2020

About the bill

Should a cop killing a civilian become a federal crime, instead of just a state crime?


Currently, if a person is killed by the police, the option to bring criminal charges against the officer is up to the discretion of the U.S. state where the death occurred. The federal government, acting through the Justice Department, can only initiate a civil rights case in such matters.

And even then, the department sometimes doesn’t. Most prominently in recent years was the Trump Administration’s July decision not to initiate a case against New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo, after his killing of Eric Garner was filmed and went viral.

What the bill does

The Police Accountability Act would make it a federal crime for a police officer to kill somebody. This …

Sponsor and status

Henry C. “Hank” Johnson

Sponsor. Representative for Georgia's 4th congressional district. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Feb 6, 2020
Length: 3 pages
Feb 6, 2020
116th Congress (2019–2021)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on February 6, 2020, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).


51 Cosponsors (51 Democrats)



Feb 6, 2020

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

H.R. 5777 (116th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 5777. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 116th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2019 to Jan 3, 2021. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 5777 — 116th Congress: Police Accountability Act of 2020.” 2020. September 26, 2023 <>

Where is this information from?

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