During the month, Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability met with Vanita Gupta, Associate Attorney General, to discuss the status of police reform.
Democrats Reps. Summer Lee (PA.) and Cori Bush (MO.) orchestrated the meeting.
Both Congresswomen have expressed their support for police reform, voicing their stance on police brutality and its effects on their districts. However, it was the recent death of unarmed man Tyre Nichols during a traffic stop and subsequent police brutality continuing unabated that promoted the pair to request a meeting with Gupta.
In a statement to The Hill, Bush explained that before entering Congress, she worked on “Policing and public safety… in St. Louis,” sharing that she understood how vital “oversight and compliance” is when assessing the efficacy of “relevant non-discrimination laws.”
Bush’s pursuit of a seat in the lower chamber was spurred by the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri, police officers.
Darren Wilson, a white police officer, made the fatal shot, resulting in nationwide protests. Wilson also wasn’t charged with killing the 18-year-old.
Bush explained that the meeting with Gupta was “respectful” and “candid,” with the Congresswomen detailing their concerns and relaying the ways their constituents have endured police brutality, in addition to how Congress could better support the Department of Justice’s oversight.
Lee has also been affected by the killing of a young Black man in her district.
In 2018, 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. was fatally shot by a police officer in East Pittsburgh, PA.
The police officer was acquitted on all counts related to Rose Jr.’s death.