Jul 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Big business plunges into police reform

Demonstrators clash with police officers during a protest in Aurora, Colorado.

Demonstrators clash with police officers during a protest in Aurora, Colorado, on June 27. Photo: Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The Business Roundtable called on Congress in a statement Wednesday to pass a police reform bill before its August recess.

Why it matters: The announcement by Business Roundtable, made up of CEOs of America’s 193 largest companies, reflects the rising pressure on corporations — from values-centric employees, shareholders and customers — to take stands on controversial public issues they once would have avoided.

The big picture: The business group issued a list of recommendations as Republicans and Democrats compete over differing police reform bills.

  • It recommends that Congress invest in community policing programs and creates a national police misconduct registry to catalog officer disciplinary records, which it believes will promote public accountability.
  • It also backs establishing a minimum national standard on the use of lethal and non-lethal force, banning chokeholds and carotid holds — except when deadly force is warranted — and creating higher standards for the use of no-knock warrants.

What they're saying: “Corporate America cannot sit this one out,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement. "CEOs are leaning forward and saying 'We have a problem.' You cannot watch the George Floyd video and say 'we don't have a problem.'"

  • "There's a national outcry for reform. With these policy recommendations as a starting point for possible bipartisan consensus, we call on all Members of Congress to act in urgency and get something done and signed into law before August."

Go deeper: The major police reforms that have been enacted since George Floyd's death

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