Speech ● Black Lives Matter
For Immediate Release: 
June 8, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks at a press conference on the introduction of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. Below is a transcript of his remarks and a link to the video:   
 Click here to watch the video.
“These are serious times. I have walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge 15 times, hand and hand with my brother [Congressman] John Lewis. My grandchildren have been there; my daughters have been there. In Selma in 2015, President Obama asked us this: ‘what greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?’
“That is what the Boston Tea Party was about: a demonstration. Some Britons would say a violation of law to redress rights.
“We remain a nation of imperfections, calling out to us to be addressed with the seriousness and determination to make good on the promise that all are created equal; that all are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – and the right to breathe, the right to have their lives matter.
“We've heard our people cry out, ‘I can't breathe.’ We've heard our people speak out, ‘Black lives matter.’ Black lives matter. The protests we've seen in recent days are an expression of rage born of despair. Democrats in the House and Senate are saying: ‘We see you. We hear you. We are acting.’
“Thank you, [Chairwoman] Karen Bass. Thank you, Congressman Black Caucus. Thank you, [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and Leader [Chuck] Schumer. The killing must stop. The carnage must end. That begins with transparency and accountability. Among other provisions, this bill will increase transparency and accountability of law enforcement nationwide by requiring local and state agencies to collect and report data; secondly, incentivizing the creation of independent investigations structures with police involved in deaths; and creating practice recommendations based on the Obama Administration's 21st Century Policing Task Force. This legislation makes it clear that police departments are serving and are answerable to all the residents in their communities, including African-Americans.
“I want to thank my colleagues who have been leading this effort in the House, Chairwoman [Karen] Bass, Chairman [Jerold] Nadler, Chairman [Hakeem] Jeffries, and Whip [Jim] Clyburn, and Senator [Kamala] Harris. We keep in our minds today the word of our dear departed colleague, Elijah Cummings: ‘we are better than this.’
“Now, it's my privilege to introduce a former mayor of a great city in our country, a representative of the state of New Jersey, and a leader in this effort, Senator Cory Booker.
“We are better than this.”