Music industry leaders back Justice in Policing Act in open letter to House of Representatives
Music and politics have always gone hand in hand. Between a pandemic and social justice protests, artists have had many opportunities to voice their public support for progressive legislation, and many have done just that. Just a few days ago, John Mayer and Lady Gaga, among hundreds of other artists, urged Congress to offer financial support to indie venues that are struggling to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now, industry leaders like Ariana Grande, Rihanna, deadmau5 and Billie Eilish have signed an open letter entreating the House of Representatives to pass the Justice in Policing Act, a piece of legislation proposed to address police violence.
The letter, which holds the signatures of more than 450 music and film professionals, reads,
“Since the killing of George Floyd just one month ago, our country has seen protests grow, attitudes shift, and calls for change intensify. We in the music and entertainment communities believe that black lives matter and have long decried the injustices endured by generations of black citizens. We are more determined than ever to push for federal, state, and local law enforcement programs that truly serve their communities.
Accordingly, we are grateful for movement of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 in the U.S. House of Representatives and urge its quick passage.”
“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. 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.”
If passed, the Justice in Policing Act will introduce major changes to the way police currently operate. For example, the act will end qualified immunity for police officers, ban the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants, establish a national registry to more transparently investigate reports of police violence, and reform police training programs to promote deescalation practices.
Featured image: EJ Hersom
Make no mistake—dance music is born from black culture. Without black creators, innovators, selectors, and communities, the electronic dance music we hold so dear would simply not exist. In short, dance music is deeply indebted to the global black community and we need to be doing more. Black artists and artists of color have played a profound role in shaping the sound and culture of dance music and now more than ever, it is necessary for everyone in the music community to stand up for the people that have given us so much. Dancing Astronaut pledges to make every effort to be a better ally, a stronger resource, and a more accountable member of the global dance music community. Black Lives Matter—get involved here: