Requires AG to Handle Cases Involving Death While in Law Enforcement Custody
Assembly Democrats Britnee Timberlake, Annette Quijano and Benjie Wimberly issued the following statements Wednesday after (A-3115), legislation they sponsored, was signed into law. The law mandates that the Attorney General handle the investigation and prosecution of a crime involving a person’s death by a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity, or while in custody, and requires the trial be held in a venue outside of the county where the incident occurred:
Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic)
“As many great civil rights leaders have said, ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ Today is a great day for justice, civil and human rights. I want to thank Governor Murphy for proving yet again his dedication to being progressive, not just in words, but in action. Signing this bill, which requires that an independent investigation occur when a person dies in police custody or during an interaction with law enforcement, is a great leap toward authoritative accountability. When administered, this law should be of assistance to officers who are doing the right thing while also sifting out biases that exist amongst those armed with power.
“As the mother of a son, it was important to me to fight for this bill to become a law; a law that will deter the use of excessive force and saves lives. Thank you to the advocacy groups, who have supported this law, and to the Assembly and Senate leadership, fellow sponsors in both houses, past and present. Without their leadership and courage, this would not have been possible.
“Lastly, to the families of those who have unwarrantedly lost their lives amidst this nationwide issue, here’s to justice.”
Assemblywoman Annette Quijan (D-Union)
“I extend a heartfelt thank you to Governor Murphy for signing this legislation that has always been about equity, fairness and transparency. I look forward to working on more legislation in the future that benefits our communities and gives a voice to those who are unable to speak for themselves.”
Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic
“I applaud and thank Governor Murphy for signing this bill that, since its inception, was intended to help promote fairness and minimize potential conflicts of interest. While I recognize that there are various views on this bill, it is important that the community, law enforcement, legislators and faith leaders now move forward to implement this law that ensures justice for victims in these cases.”