By Cynthia Hoang-Duong
WASHINGTON, DC – President Biden late last week vetoed House Joint Resolution 42, a Republican-led measure that sought to overturn the District of Columbia’s Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022.
As supported by Biden in his message to the House of Representatives, the legislation provides for “common sense police reforms,” including the prohibition of chokeholds, restrictions on excessive force, better access to recordings from body-worn cameras, and requirements for training of law enforcement on de-escalation and use of force.
Monica Hopkins, Executive Director of the ACLU of the District of Columbia, praised President Biden’s veto, maintaining the act, “creates more transparency, holds police accountable when they break the law, and restricts harmful practices that have led to severe harm and even death.”
While acknowledging his disagreement with some provisions of the act, President Biden said improving the efficacy and accountability of policing through resources is a core agenda of his administration, agreeing with Hopkins the act is essential for improving public safety and Congress must uphold the District of Columbia’s right to enact such measures.
As Hopkins said in a statement on the President’s veto, “The ability of District residents to make our own laws should never have come to a presidential veto. The 700,000 people of D.C. supposedly live in a representative democracy, yet without D.C. statehood we are routinely denied our basic right to self-government because D.C. is not considered a state.”