June 03, 2020

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Bill to Prevent and Review Officer-Involved Deaths

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today joined Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and five other Senators in cosponsoring the Police Training and Independent Review Act to provide grants to states that require fair and impartial police training and the independent investigation and prosecution of the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers.

“Time after time, Nevada and the nation have witnessed the unjustified and unjustifiable use of force against people of color. Black and brown people in America are heartbroken and exhausted by this unending violence, and rightly so. I’m committed to listening to the voices of communities of color so that we can ensure the accountability of law enforcement in our communities.”


The Police Training and Independent Review Act would establish a new grant under the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) for states that enact similar measures by creating: (1) training on fair and impartial policing and (2) a structure to independently review law enforcement use of deadly force.

Training on Fair and Impartial Policing: Grant recipients would be required to provide mandatory training for all individuals enrolled in a law enforcement academy. The initial training would have to be at least eight hours, with additional four hours of training each subsequent year. The training would be required to cover:

  • Recognizing implicit and explicit bias on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability;
  • Considering cultural diversity;
  • Interacting with individuals with mental illness or behavioral, mental, or physical disabilities; and
  • Crisis intervention and de-escalation tactics.

Independent Review of Law Enforcement Use of Deadly Force: To be eligible for the grant, states would also be required to establish an “independent prosecution of law enforcement statute” to review officers’ use of deadly force. The bill outlines specific types of independent review programs that would be eligible.