After viewing the video of a DeKalb County police officer striking a homeless woman with his baton several times during an arrest, Rep. John Lewis made the following statement:
“This week, I watched the alarming video of Ms. Katie McCrary’s arrest in Decatur, Georgia. I was shocked and appalled to see such violence towards any person -- especially a woman known to have clear mental health issues.
“Considering the gravity of this situation, I appreciate DeKalb County’s prompt response and action. I requested an update from the DeKalb County leadership on this serious matter, and I look forward their response.
“In the shared commitment to strive towards achieving what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the Beloved Community, we all must do our part in standing for justice. Inaction is not an option. We must be proactive and engaged in encouraging all of our sisters and brothers to respect the dignity and worth of every human being. We can, and we must do better.
“It is for these reasons that I will soon reintroduce the SAFETY through Nonviolence Act, a bill to help local authorities adopt innovative, integrated, community-based violence prevention programs. Earlier this year, I also authored the Law Enforcement Inclusion Act, legislation to encourage recruiting, hiring, and training career law enforcement officers from the residents of the communities they serve. These bills are specific, targeted legislative steps to support local policing and community efforts to build and improve mutual respect, trust, transparency, and accountability.”