According to Pitchfork, a number of famous musicians/actors, including: Ariana Grande, Meek Mill, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, Robert De Niro, and Rihanna, amongst literally hundreds of others, have added their names to an open letter in support of the U.S. House of Representatives' Justice in Policing Act of 2020.
The letter, which can be read here, was addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and ends by asking that they vote "Yes" on the pending legislation.
"The Justice in Policing Act is not about marginal change; it takes bold steps that will make a real, positive difference for law enforcement and the communities they serve," the letter says. "We celebrate the long-overdue rejection of qualified immunity, emphasizing that law enforcement officers themselves are not above the law –that bad cops must be held accountable and victims must have recourse. We applaud the provisions to ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, to establish a national police misconduct registry, to collect data and improve investigations into police misconduct, to promote de-escalation practices, to establish comprehensive training programs, and to update and enhance standards and practices.
"This legislation will not only promote justice; it will establish a culture of responsibility, fairness, and respect deserving of the badge. Our communities and nation look to you to take a stand in this extraordinary moment and we respectfully ask that you vote YES on the Justice in Policing Act of 2020."
Just two weeks ago, artists and other professionals within the music industry put their names on an open letter in support of the repeal of New York's statute 50-A, which allows the state to conceal the personnel and disciplinary records of officers from the public. That letter was signed by several celebrities who also signed this newest one, including: Bieber, Eilish, and Rihanna.
"We must hold accountable those who violate the oath to protect and serve, and find justice for those who are victim to their violence," that letter said. "An indispensable step is having access to disciplinary records of law enforcement officers. New York statute 50-A blocks that full transparency, shielding a history of police misconduct from public scrutiny, making it harder to seek justice and bring about reform."
As we wrote earlier this month, the NYPD invoked this statute after Eric Garner died from a chokehold administered on him by officer Daniel Pantaleo back in 2014. It was later discovered by ThinkProgress that Pantaelo had 14 individual allegations and seven disciplinary complaints against him.
The statute had been passed in 1976 after the city's police union successfully argued that it prevented them from "harassment" by defense attorneys seeking to use "unsubstantiated" prior offenses against them. The Nation has reported that the senator who sponsored the bill went on to state that its intent was not to shield officers from the public learning of allegations of misconduct.