Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) says that she plans to reintroduce the National Police Misuse of Force Investigation Board Act this week, which if it becomes law would create a new federal agency to independently investigate police killings, in-custody deaths and major use of force incidents.
“This is going to be a proactive board that does the work on behalf of our country,” Omar told KARE11, “in trying to make sure that these agents of the law are taking their oath seriously and that the work they’re doing is work that helps communities feel safe.”
According to text of the bill, the legislation would designate the National Police Misuse of Force Investigation Board as "an independent establishment of the United States Government." It would consist of eight members appointed by the president for six-year terms, but only four of those members could represent the same political party to preserve a bipartisan nature.
The board, whose members would have no law enforcement experience, would have broad investigative powers over deaths involving police, as well as use of force incidents resulting in serious injury. In addition to collecting demographic data on police killings, the agency could also issue recommendations and even withhold federal grant funding for local police departments that don't follow them.
With support from Representatives Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Omar said she’s optimistic her bill can catch the attention of her colleagues.