January 08, 2021

Rep. Jamaal Bowman Introduces Congressional Oversight of Unjust Policing Act

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) on Friday announced he will introduce the Congressional Oversight of Unjust Policing Act (COUP Act), which would establish a national commission to investigate the terrorist attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, address the systemic failures in the United States Capitol security apparatus, and investigate ties between members of U.S. Capitol Police and white supremacist movements.

“How does it happen that a group of armed, violent insurrectionists are able to march into one of the most secure buildings on Earth and force members of Congress to hide under their desks?” Rep. Bowman asked. “This is not entirely a story of incompetence on the part of law enforcement, and we have to ask: did some of those charged with protecting us willingly lay down their posts? Was there a coordinated effort to take over the United States government with violence? Why wasn’t there a coordinated effort from the beginning with other members of law enforcement? Is there a relationship between law enforcement and white supremacists? We need a 9/11-type commission to investigate what happened here.”

The commission proposed by Rep. Bowman’s bill will be charged with publishing a report recommending specific measures and reforms to realign recruitment, hiring and retention policies and practices of the U.S. Capitol Police to address both conscious and unconscious biases, including but not limited to: changes to existing law, changes to federal programs, and suggestions for actions the private sector can take.

Rep. Bowman’s bill also empowers the commission to make specific recommendations to combat the growth of far-right ideologies within the ranks of federal law enforcement.