With the past weeks marred by the murder of five police officers in Dallas and controversy surrounding the officer-involved killings of two black men days earlier, U.S. Rep. John Conyers is taking action.
Conyers, who represents Michigan's 13th Congressional District (including most of Wayne County), will partner with U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., to lead a working group "to examine police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues."
The bipartisan committee includes two Democratic representatives from Louisiana and Minnesota, where the officer-involved shootings took place, and a Republican representative from Texas.
Conyers and and Goodlatte, respectively the Democratic ranking member and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement:
Our nation’s conscience has been rocked by a series of tragic events that has resulted in the loss of too many lives. Most recently, five Dallas police officers were murdered in cold blood last week, and two men were fatally shot by law enforcement in Baton Rouge and St. Paul. We mourn the loss of all of these lives and want to see an end to this violence.
It’s clear that more must be done to end excessive use of force, strengthen police accountability, prevent violent attacks on law enforcement and improve the relationship between police officers and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve. These issues are not going to be solved overnight and they won’t be solved by Congress alone. Our goal in creating this working group is to discuss these issues candidly with each another so that we can begin to find common ground on these matters of national importance.
The group will hold a private roundtable on Thursday in Washington, D.C., and will include a pastor and law professor specializing in community safety.
Conyers and Goodlatte said in the statement they hope to engage in candid conversations regarding the excessive use of force by police and violence toward law enforcement.