Every District resident deserves safety and security. Our safety matters, and so do our civil rights. But the ACTIVE Act puts both at risk.
The ACTIVE Act is not a true "public safety" bill. It's an "abuse of power" bill that threatens our fundamental liberties with warrantless searches and expanded pretrial detention.
If passed, the ACTIVE Act would allow police to search certain people without a warrant, and without cause, any time they are out in public – or even at a friend of family member’s house. Black people in the District will be the most likely to bear the brunt of accelerated searches. 90.7% of the searches that resulted in no warning, ticket, or arrest, were of Black people. It’s deeply disturbing that Black people, once again, almost certainly make up the vast majority of people subjected to stops or searches despite not violating the law.
If passed, the ACTIVE Act makes it harder for judges to release people accused of certain crimes before their trial. If preventing crime and violence is the goal, pretrial detention is not the way. Pretrial releases in the District are not driving crime: 92 percent of people released from pretrial are not rearrested and only 1 percent are rearrested for a violent offense while awaiting trial. The tragic truth is that nobody comes out of jail in a better position to take care of themself or their family.
With its troubling provisions that undermine our civil rights and liberties, the ACTIVE ACT will not make D.C. any safer. In practice, it could actually make the District less safe.