News Release: Government Accountability Project Applauds Introduction of Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2021
Government Accountability Bill applauds introduction of Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act
The introduction of this legislation is an important step for the accountability of law enforcement.
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly introduced the Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act to Congress. This legislation would break the conflict of interest where police departments investigate on their own, as well as be a step forward in protection against retaliation to break the blue wall of silence.
If enacted, the Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act:
- Establish an Independent Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement (SIGLE) to investigate law enforcement illegality or misconduct;
- Create a schedule of reports to Congress on a quarterly basis of its activities, including agency recommendations and responses, and an annual basis on the total number of cases of use of deadly force, use of excessive force, and findings of misconduct involving federal law enforcement officials and whistleblower discrimination and retaliation;
- Provide whistleblower best practices and privacy rights not only to law enforcement officers, but also to citizens, government employees, contractors, or any other witness who makes a protective disclosure to the SIGLE ; and
- Give people who have been discriminated against because of their disclosure the opportunity to sue for damages.
As a whistleblower advocacy organization, we believe in the power of truth to hold powerful individuals and institutions accountable. Our call for law enforcement accountability last year included two letters to Congress about the need for stronger whistleblower protections, one signed by more than 170 advocacy organizationsand another signed by more than 30 law enforcement officers. We urge the House of Representatives to pass the Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act to ensure these protections become a reality.
Police corruption whistleblower Frank Serpico commented:
“If Congress passes this bill, honest police officers will be encouraged to come forward and expose corruption. That way they can defend the public against rogue cops without risking their professional careers, or their lives like in my case.
Our General Counsel, Tom Devine, commented:
“This bill is the weathervane if Congress is serious about enforcing the laws already in place against police abuse. It would also be a breakthrough for free speech, as his shield is not limited to law enforcement. The bill is a breakthrough as it extends best practice rights against retaliation to all who report police illegality, including citizen witnesses, victims, NGOs, businesses or any source of evidence against police illegality.
Contact: Andrew Harman, Director of Communications
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 926-3304
Government Accountability Project
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. By arguing whistleblower cases, raising concerns, and developing legal reforms, the mission of the Government Accountability Project is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.