Our nation’s criminal justice system is in peril. From the halls of our local police departments, to the court rooms, and overcrowded prisons, total reform is needed at all levels of the judiciary.
Felony convictions for nonviolent drug crimes, criminal profiling, and excessive force by law enforcement disproportionately affects the black and brown communities. It is time to look at redefining the use of deadly force to better protect the officer and citizen.
We must pass federal legislation to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, end private for-profit prisons, promote rehabilitation centers, and put support systems in place for former inmates who are shut out of opportunities.
In Texas, we are on the heels of several tragic deaths of black Americans by the police force, which occurs all too frequently to families across our country. We must seek justice—there is no other option.
We must hold our police departments accountable for misconduct and excessive force; and bring in independent investigators to reexamine the use of deadly force and foster an environment that prioritizes de-escalation tactics.
I have a long record of fighting for criminal justice reform and putting measures in place to hold law enforcement accountable. In the Texas State Senate, I authored groundbreaking legislation for body cameras and dashboard cameras in police vehicles.
Fairness in the criminal justice system is not a new issue but continues to evade resolution. We must look for new approaches that will bring about trust and accountability, while maintaining community safety.