Collins Named to Panel Studying Police Accountability

The House Judiciary Committee has formed a working group to study issues surrounding police actions and behavior public safety concerns related to the recent shootings by police in Minnesota and Louisiana, along with the deaths of five police officers in Dallas. 9th District Congressman Doug Collins of Gainesville was named to the group by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. Congressman Collins issued this statement following his appointment:

I am honored to be named to this working group, where I will draw upon my life experiences as a Baptist Pastor, an attorney, and the son of a Georgia State Trooper, to help foster a productive dialogue. We are not here to point fingers, but rather to find solutions to the issues that are on the hearts and minds of so many Americans. The tragic shootings of two men last week by law enforcement in St. Paul and Baton Rouge, followed by the five police officers who lost their lives in Dallas, remind us that this kind of violence will not simply go away, and we must face a difficult conversation together as one nation.

The working group is expected to meet with representatives of minorities and law enforcement, starting today with a roundtable in Washington, DC. Reverend Doctor DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, and Deborah A. Ramirez, the Executive Director for Partnering for Prevention and Community Safety Initiative and Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law are expected to participate.

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Policing is a local and state responsibility but it will be interesting to see the committee’s recommendations. It also should be noted police involved shootings are rare. In Chicago so far in 2016 there have been four fatal shootings by police while there has been 355 total homicides. In 2015 Atlanta had two fatal police involved shootings.