Newly sworn in Bronx and Westchester congressman Jamaal Bowman wasted little time introducing major legislation to the house – this one dealing with Wednesday’s historic riots and invasion of the U.S. Capitol Building.
The freshman congressman proposed the Congressional Oversight of Unjust Policing Act, or COUP for short; it calls to establish a “national commission to investigate the terrorist attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6,” while also addressing what Bowman called “the systemic failures in the United States Capitol security apparatus.”
The COUP act would also investigate any possible ties between members of U.S. Capitol Police and white supremacist movements.
“How does it happen that a group of armed, violent insurrectionists are able to march into one of the most secure buildings on Earth and force members of Congress to hide under their desks?” Bowman questioned.
“This is not entirely a story of incompetence on the part of law enforcement, and we have to ask: did some of those charged with protecting us willingly lay down their posts? Was there a coordinated effort to take over the United States government with violence?”
Bowman’s bill proposed a commission will be tasked with publishing a report that recommends specific measures and reforms to “realign recruitment, hiring and retention policies and practices of the U.S. Capitol Police to address both conscious and unconscious biases.”
That would include making changes to existing law, changes to federal programs, and suggestions for actions the private sector can take.
His proposed law also “empowers the commission to make specific recommendations to combat the growth of far-right ideologies within the ranks of federal law enforcement.”
“Why wasn’t there a coordinated effort from the beginning with other members of law enforcement? Is there a relationship between law enforcement and white supremacists? We need a 9/11-type commission to investigate what happened here,” Bowman said.
This story first appeared on our sister publication bxtimes.com.