FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2021
Government Accountability Project Applauds Introduction of the Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act
The introduction of this legislation is an important step for law enforcement accountability.
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly introduced the Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act into Congress. This legislation would break through the conflict of interest where police departments investigate themselves, as well as be a step forward in reprisal protection to crack the Blue Wall of Silence.
If made into law, the Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act would:
- Establish an independent Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement (SIGLE) to investigate law enforcement illegality or misconduct;
- Create a reporting schedule to Congress on a quarterly basis of its activities, including recommendations and agency responses, and an annual basis on the total number of use of deadly force cases, use of excessive force complaints, and findings of misconduct involving federal law enforcement officers as well as whistleblower discrimination and retaliation;
- Provide best practice whistleblower and confidentiality rights not only for law enforcement officers, but for citizens, government employees, contractors or any other witnesses who make a protection disclosure to the SIGLE; and
- Give individuals who face discrimination because of their disclosure the ability to sue for damages.
As a whistleblower advocacy organization, we believe in the strength of truth telling to hold powerful individuals and institutions accountable. Last year our call for law enforcement accountability included two letters to Congress about the need to strengthen whistleblower protections, one signed by over 170 advocacy organizations, and another signed by over 30 law enforcement officers. We urge the House of Representatives to pass the Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act to ensure these protections are made 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 crooked cops without risking their professional careers, or their lives as in my case.”
Our Legal Director Tom Devine commented:
“This bill is the weathervane whether Congress is serious about enforcing the laws already on the books against police abuse. It also would be a breakthrough for freedom of speech, because its shield is not limited to law enforcement officers. The bill is a breakthrough, because it extends best practice rights against any retaliation to all who blow the whistle against police illegality, including citizen witnesses, victims, NGO’s, corporations or any source of evidence against police illegality.”
Contact: Andrew Harman, Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 926-3304
Government Accountability Project
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission 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.