House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and House Judiciary Committee Democrats met with Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta during a meeting organized by Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.) and Summer Lee (Pa.) to discuss police reform.
Both congresswomen are vocal about their position regarding police reforms and the way police brutality has affected people in their district. The meeting with Gupta was organized following the recent death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols and the continued lack of federal police reforms.
In a statement to The Hill, Bush wrote that the policing issues were her focus even before being elected to congress while she worked in St. Louis. She then noted that she knew “the importance of oversight and compliance with relevant non-discrimination laws when it comes to law enforcement.”
Notably, Bush decided to run for office following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., by police officers who were never charged with the killing of the 18-year-old. Following the death, there were protests across the nation. Bush said that the meeting included a “respectful and candid conversation” with Gupta where many of the concerns of members were addressed regarding the way that police violence has affected their constituents.
Bush noted that systemic police violence is a “tragic reality” for many communities across America. Much like Boo, Lee has been affected by a young Black American, Antwon Rose II, a Black teenager, dying in her district, East Pittsburgh, Pa., during a traffic stop in 2018. All the officers connected to the death were acquitted on all counts.
Lee in her own statement said that there needed to be a way to “hold abusive police officers and departments accountable.”