400+ Civil Rights Organizations Urge Congressional Action on Police Violence

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Andrew Goodman Foundation, and 400 other civil rights organizations today called on congressional leadership to swiftly rectify the legacy of white supremacy and anti-black racism that has led to police violence against Black people across our country. The group requested a meeting with congressional leadership to discuss urgently needed reforms that ensure police officers live up to their oath to protect and serve all people in the United States.

“Now is the time for Congress to pass meaningful police reform legislation. While we appreciate hearings and resolutions, we need comprehensive measures to happen. We need Congress to truly step up to the plate and protect Black communities from the systemic perils of over-policing, police brutality, misconduct, and harassment, and end the impunity in which officers operate in taking the lives of Black people. It is your moral and ethical duty to ensure Black people and communities are free from the harm and threats from law enforcement and to curtail state-sanctioned police violence and militarized police responses,” the groups said in the letter.

The federal reforms addressed in the letter include:

  • Require a federal standard that use of force be reserved for only when necessary as a last resort after exhausting reasonable options, and incentivize states to implement this standard; require the use of de-escalation techniques, and the duty to intervene; ban the use of force as a punitive measure or means of retaliation against individuals who only verbally confront officers, or against individuals who pose a danger only to themselves; and require all officers to accurately report all uses of force;
  • Prohibit all maneuvers that restrict the flow of blood or oxygen to the brain, including neck holds, chokeholds, and similar excessive force, deeming the use of such force a federal civil rights violation;
  • Prohibit racial profiling with robust data collection on police-community encounters and law enforcement activities. Data should capture all demographic categories and be disaggregated;
  • Eliminate federal programs that provide military equipment to law enforcement;
  • Prohibit the use of no-knock warrants, especially for drug searches;
  • Change the 18 U.S.C. Sec. 242 mens rea requirement from willfulness to recklessness, permitting prosecutors to successfully hold law enforcement accountable for the deprivation of civil rights and civil liberties;
  • Develop a national public database that would cover all police agencies in the United States and its territories; and,
  • End the qualified immunity doctrine that prevents police from being held legally accountable when they break the law.

The full letter is available here, and the participating organizations are listed below:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
A Better Balance
African American Health Alliance
African American Policy Forum
Agudas Achim Congregation
Alabama Institute for Social Justice
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
All Our Kin
All Voting is Local, Georgia
Alliance of Baptists
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Atheists
American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Teachers
American Humanist Association
American Library Association
American Music Therapy Association
American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN)
American Muslim Health Professionals
American Muslims for Palestine
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
America’s Voice
Amistad Law Project
Amnesty International USA
Andrew Goodman Foundation
Arab American Institute (AAI)
Asian American Advocacy Fund
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council
Asian Real Estate Association of America
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE)
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Augustus F. Hawkins Foundation
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Beauty after the Bars
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Black and Pink
Black Law Enforcement of America
Brain Injury Association of America
Bread for the World
BUILD Initiative
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
Cameroon American Council
Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
Caring Across Generations
Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities
Center for American Progress
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Community Self-Help
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Disability Rights
Center for Economic and Policy Research
Center for Law & Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Policing Equity
Center for Public Representation
Center for Reproductive Rights
Center for Responsible Lending
Center on Conscience & War
Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at NYU School of Law
Central Iowa Center for Independent Living
Child and Family Policy Center
Child Care Council, Inc
Child Care Law Center
Child Care Resources, Inc.
Child Care Services Association
Children’s Defense Fund – NY
Children’s Forum
Children’s HealthWatch
Children’s Defense Fund
Chinese American Progressive Action
Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
Church World Service
Citizen Action of New York
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Coalition of Asian Americans
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Coalition on Human Needs
College and Community Fellowship
Color Of Change
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Common Cause
Community Alliance on Prisons
Community Change Action
Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI)
Concerned Citiizen
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces
Connecticut Association for Human Services
Constitutional Accountability Center
CONTACT Rape Crisis Center
Council of Korean Americans
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
CT Alliance to End Sexual Violence
CURR (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants)
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Defending Rights & Dissent
Demand Justice
Demand Progress
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
Disciples Center for Public Witness
Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)
Early Care & Learning Council
Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center
Economic Policy Institute
Educare Learning Network
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
End Citizens United // Let America Vote Action Fund
End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin
Endangered Species Coalition
Equal Justice Society
Equal Rights Advocates
Equality North Carolina
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Exp Realty,LLC – One eXp Co-Chair for Diversity and Inclusion
Fair Count Inc.
Faith in Public Life
Families USA
Family Crisis Center, Inc.
Family Equality
Family Values @ Work
Feminist Majority Foundation
First Presbyterian Day School
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
Franciscan Action Network
Franklin & Marshall College
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Futures Without Violence
Global Development Organizations Insights
Government Information Watch
Greenpeace USA
Harm Reduction Coalition
Health Care for America Now (HCAN)
Health Care Voter
Hindu American Foundation
Hip Hop Caucus
Hispanic Federation
Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO)
Housing Choice Partners
Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights for Kids
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Immigration Hub
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
Innocence Project
Institute for Childhood Preparedness
International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA)
Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Islamic Relief USA
Japanese American Citizens League
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Women International
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Just Detention International
Justice for Women COVID-19 Task Force
Justice in Aging
Justice Roundtable
Justice Strategies
JustLeadership USA
Juvenile Law Center
Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice
Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Lambda Legal
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
Law Enforcement Action Partnership
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
LeafSpring Schools of Charlotte
League of Conservation Voters
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
League of Women Voters of the United States
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Main Street Alliance
Maine Children’s Alliance
MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
Marion County Commission On Youth, Inc.
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Matthew Shepard Foundation
McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership
Michelle Dyson
Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence
Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board
Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition
Muslim Advocates
Muslim Caucus Education Collective
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Action Network
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
National Association for Family Child Care
National Association of Realtors
National Association of Social Workers
National Bar Association
National Black Justice Coalition
National CAPACD – National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Center for Children in Poverty
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Center for Learning Disabilities
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Community Action Partnership
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of Churches
National Council on Independent Living
National Council of Jewish Women
National Crittenton
National Disability Rights Network
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Down Syndrome Congress
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Equality Action Team (NEAT)
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Health Law Program
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG)
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
National Legal Aid & Defender Association
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Network to End Domestic Violence
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Parks Conservation Association
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
National WIC Association
National Women’s Law Center
National Workrights Institute
Nay’s Little Rascals Pre-School
NC Child
NC Early Education Coalition
NC Institute for Child Development Professionals
Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
New Hour Women and Children
New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence
New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence
New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
NextGen America
NIAC Action
NJCEDV/DAP (Deaf Advocacy Project)
North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
North Carolina Early Education Coalition
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Ohio Domestic Violence Network
One Pennsylvania
Open Society Policy Center
Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence
Our Revolution
PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Pacific Islander Community Association
Parent Voices CA
Parent-Child Center
Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew – Policy Action Council, Illinois (POWER-PAC IL)
Partnership for America’s Children
Pax Christi USA
Peace Action
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)
Pennsylvania Head Start Association
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
People For the American Way
PFLAG National
Physician for Human Rights
Policing Project at New York Univeristy School of Law
Policy Research & Innovation
Poligon Education Fund
Population Connection Action Fund
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Prison Policy Initiative
Private US citizen
Progressive Multiplier Action Fund
Progressive Power Lab
Public Advocacy for Kids (PAK)
Public Citizen
Release Aging People in Prison/RAPP
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United
ReThink Media
Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Safer Foundation
SD Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
Sierra Club
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Justice Team
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
SPLC Action Fund
Spouse Abuse Sexual Assault Crisis Center, Inc.
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
Stand Up America
Stop Abusive Family Environments, Inc. (SAFE)
Strategies for Youth
Survivors Rising
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Tahirih Justice Center
Take on Wall Street
Tax March
Texas Council on family violence
Texas Inmate Families Association
Texas Progressive Action Network
The Arc of the United States
The Black Sex Worker Collective
The Center for Family Justice, Inc.
The Climate Reality Project
The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families
The Daniel Initiative
The Gathering for Justice
The Heartsing Table
The Justice Collaborative
The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
The Ohio Head Start Association
The Ounce of Prevention Fund
The Sentencing Project
The Sikh Coalition
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
Think Small
TN State Conference NAACP
TRANScending Barriers Atlanta
Tyer Temple United Methodist Church
UFW Foundation
Ujima Inc: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
United Farm Workers (UFW)
United We Dream
USCCB Subcommittee on African American Affairs
Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Violence Free Colorado
Violence Free Minnestoa
Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance
Voices for Progress
Voices Of Hope
Voto Latino
Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence
West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services
Whitman-Walker Health and Whitman-Walker Institute
Win Without War
Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Wisconsin Early Childhood Association
Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network
Women’s Community Justice Association
Worth Rises
Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
YWCA New Britain

About The Andrew Goodman Foundation

The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s mission is to make young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy by training the next generation of leaders, engaging young voters, and challenging restrictive voter suppression laws. The Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program partners with America’s colleges and universities to provide resources, visibility, and mentoring to a national network of student leaders who involve their peers in participatory democracy through long-term voter engagement, public policy, and social justice initiatives. The organization is named after Andrew Goodman, a 20-year old Freedom Summer volunteer, and champion of equality and voting rights who was murdered by the KKK in 1964 while registering African Americans to vote in Mississippi.

About The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit