Crime and Public Safety
Crime and Public Safety: Creating Safer Communities
In recent years, Metro Atlanta has experienced an alarming trend of increasing gang, youth, and relationship violence.
Every day, I read another horror story of a shooting, stabbing, or instance of bullying gone entirely too far. It is as if the value of life and respect for the thoughts, words, property, and body of others is forgotten. In response to my concern that violence and crime are becoming accepted as the social norm, I introduced:
- The SAFETY through Nonviolence Act;
- The National Parents Corps Act; and
- The Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Act.
I also lead the House of Representatives in fighting for funding for YouthBuild and other federal youth employment programs which help young people become educated, skilled, and off-the streets.
As a nation, the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world, but unfortunately the push to incarcerate has not resulted in safer and stronger communities. We must break this school to prison pipeline. I strongly support legislation that remedies our broken criminal justice system by -
- Providing law enforcement with the tools, resources, and training to protect our communities;
- Rectifying some of the injustices in our legal system like the disparity between sentencing for crack and cocaine offenses;
- Increasing rehabilitation services and resources particularly for non-violent offenders, their families and communities;
- Focusing on crime prevention efforts through education, mentoring, counseling, workforce training, and targeted efforts; and
- Reiterating the importance of using lessons-learned to attack the culture of violence.
More on Crime and Public Safety
Yesterday’s evening news reported that 75 to 100 gravesites were desecrated this past weekend at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. This followed a recent incident where 170 headstones were knocked off their foundations, cracked and damaged at another Jewish cemetery in Missouri.
WASHINGTON-- On Saturday December 10th in its final session of the 114th Congress, the Senate passed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016 (S.2854/H.R.5067). In the Senate the bill was led by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). In the House, original sponsors were Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI).
Rep. John Lewis made this statement on the House floor to question the adjournment of the House when pressing matters of national interest still need to be worked on by Members of Congress:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise because I cannot believe it. I cannot believe that the Republican Members of Congress will leave Washington, leave the nation’s capital for seven and a half weeks without taking a single step to respond to the real suffering, the real pain, the real despair of the American people.
Today, Rep. John Lewis made comments about the series of shootings American communities have faced in recent days, including the horrific murder of police officers in Dallas. This statement is based on the comments he made during a Congressional Black Caucus press conference today.
Like so many Americans, I had a chance to view the murder of Alton Sterling on video. I am not an expert, but to me, it looked like an execution. I cannot understand why any citizen who is complying with police commands should need to fear for his life and then be murdered. The lives of his wife and children are shattered. How can they ever be repaired?
WASHINGTON – Congressman John Lewis (GA) spoke on the House Floor this morning to condemn Congressional inaction to mass shootings and gun violence in the United States. He made this statement and led a sit-in against the inaction of Congress on this crisis of violence:
“On occasion, Mr. Speaker, I have had what I call an executive session with myself.
"It was one year ago today that Charleston, SC and this nation lost nine precious souls. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Tywanza Sanders, Myra Thompson, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Daniel Simmons, Sr., Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, and Rev. Clementa Pinckney: they were mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. They stood for the power of love to overcome the chaos of hate. Their singular faith in this principle, even in the face of death, should be a lesson to us all. Now it is our duty to realize their vision of human unity in this nation and the world around us.
“As the details of this tragic incident become more clear, I am deeply saddened and very disturbed by what has been visited on the Orlando community. As I said earlier today, how many more must die? How long must we wander through this dark killing field filled with the broken bodies of hundreds—even precious little children—before we finally take strong action against the accessibility of assault weapons in this country?
Gun violence destroys the lives, the hopes, the dreams and aspirations of so many people. In the last decade we have buried more than 20,000 children under the age of 18 killed in gun-related incidents. I, and many other Americans, share the President’s pain that we could not find the courage to take action after the tragedy in Newtown and are still struggling to respond to the daily violence on city streets in America. This morning President Obama took critical and important steps to try to stem the crisis of gun violence in America.
I am shocked to hear that a dedicated reporter and cameraman, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, could be shot in broad daylight while they were simply trying to report a human interest story in Moneta, Virginia. My thoughts are with their colleagues and their loved ones on this day.
This is a very, very sad, all too frequent tragedy. There are just too many guns available in this country that get into the hands of sick people, angry people, and irresponsible people.