A group of 200 CEOs has called upon President Trump and Congress to legislate police reform. In an open letter, the Business Roundtable demanded that the government address police brutality before Congress recesses in August. Leaders from America’s largest companies comprise the coalition. Among them, the CEOs of Walmart, Amazon, Apple, AT&T, and JPMorgan Chase.
BRT Demands Change
The Business Roundtable (BRT) is a non-profit founded in the early 1970s. The group is made up of many of the most powerful people in America. In mid-June, the organization published an open letter requesting that the government take immediate action toward police reform. BRT wrote in that note:
“Among the most urgent challenges is the need to protect our citizens and address unwarranted, excessive and even lethal force, especially against unarmed black men and women. Business Roundtable applauds the current leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Senators Tim Scott, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris along with the many others who have long worked on legislative solutions to this crisis. Business Roundtable is also encouraged by the Administration’s efforts through Executive Action.”
But with no federal legislation yet signed, BRT is doubling-down on the demand. And with the August recess drawing near, it will be imperative for Congress to take swift, immediate action.
The newest open letter goes further than the former, outlining specific steps the government should take. The BRT describes 5 areas that need legislation in order for police reform to become a reality:
- improved community engagement
- increased data collection and transparency instances of use of force
- greater accountability
- the implementation of minimum national splicing standards
- more robust training
Additionally, the letter calls for standards for no-knock warrants. The controversial tactic led to the murder of Breonna Taylor this March. Moreover, the note demands a ban on chokeholds and carotid holds.
Corporations Taking Responsibility
The BRT letter insists that corporations have a responsibility to fight racism and police brutality. Their economic and cultural power is an invaluable tool for increasing pressure on lawmakers.
Doug McMillon, Chairman & CEO of Walmart said of the issue:
“There is no question that businesses can – and should – play a role in addressing the systemic inequities that Black Americans as well as other people of color face when it comes to policing in our nation today. One way we can make a difference is by putting the full weight of Business Roundtable behind specific priorities that ensure fair, just and equitable policing. We will be using our resources to help build on the momentum that already exists because of the efforts of millions of Americans of all ages and all races who are urgently demanding solutions to the crisis and that bring an end to the senseless killing.”
Still, with the November election fast-approaching, the heat is on for Congress to address one of the biggest issues currently facing the country. But if the voice of millions of protesters can’t get their attention, perhaps the collective strength of America’s most powerful companies can.