On May 27, 2020, the ACLU submitted a written statement to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) led Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. The ACLU conveyed its concern that this body is little more than a sham commission formed only for the purposes of advancing a “Thin Blue Line” law and order agenda. Given the Commission’s approach, the ACLU is particularly concerned with its (1) failure to address police violence, which disproportionately impacts people and communities of color, and coincided with several high profile fatal police shootings; (2) disregard for the COVID-19 pandemic, with a decision to move the Commission forward business as usual without addressing mass incarceration as the cause of virus spread by the thousands in jails and prisons; and (3) attacks on reform oriented prosecutors, significant actors in the criminal legal system who understand that justice and public safety can be achieved without harsh, punitive approaches.
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