NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the highest-ranking Latino in Congress, today released the following statement after joining Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as a cosponsor of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020:

“George Floyd’s senseless and tragic death at the hands of police has helped crystalize in many Americans’ minds the systemic racism and inequality that communities of color have long suffered. The American people are demanding action that both provides transformative change for generations to come and honors Mr. Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless other black Americans who should still be alive today.

“The Justice in Policing Act will increase police accountability and transparency, set national use-of-force standards, and improve police training. While the overwhelming majority of police officers are good and just and risk their lives to protect us, their jobs are made that much harder by those who abuse their power. This bill will help solve some of the institutional problems ingrained in our policing system by weeding out bad actors and ensuring officers terminated for police abuses don’t end up on the force in other jurisdictions.

“These are sensible, reasonable reforms needed to help restore confidence in a system that has historically had a heavier hand against black and brown Americans, but it’s only the first step of what is needed to address our nation’s systemic economic, social and environmental injustices once and for all.

“I applaud Senators Booker and Harris for their leadership on these critical issues. I stand with the millions peacefully protesting across the country to end the racial disparities in our society. The time for talk is over; it’s time for Congress to act.”