The House handed a invoice on Wednesday geared toward serving to forestall police misconduct, naming the laws after a Black man who was killed by Minneapolis police final May in a violent arrest that triggered nationwide protests in opposition to racial injustice and police brutality.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act handed 220-212 within the Democratic-controlled House. The laws bans police from utilizing chokeholds and no-knock warrants, requires information assortment on police encounters and ends certified immunity ― a authorized doctrine usually used to defend police from accountability.
The invoice additionally authorizes new grant funding for community-based organizations to implement evidence-based initiatives like violence interruption and hospital-based violence intervention ― methods to maintain neighborhoods protected that principally don’t contain police.
Ten months in the past, then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who’s white, killed Floyd after kneeling on his neck for a number of minutes whereas he was handcuffed and face down on the road. Footage of the incident that went viral on social media confirmed Floyd begging officers for air, saying he couldn’t breathe. After stress had already constructed up from repeated deaths of Black folks by the hands of police, Floyd’s dying broke the dam and resulted in protests throughout the nation ― with some folks calling for police reform, some demanding police funds go to social providers and others calling for police abolition.
“My city is not an outlier but rather an example of the inequalities our country has struggled with for centuries,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose district contains Minneapolis, stated inside as she presided over House debate and known as the vote forward of the invoice’s passage.
“Today we find ourselves at a crossroads,” she added. “Will we have the moral courage to pursue justice and secure meaningful change, or will we succumb to this moment?”
House Democrats first launched and handed the invoice, principally alongside celebration traces, final yr within the wake of Floyd’s dying, however the laws failed within the Republican-controlled Senate. Democrats hope the invoice will go each chambers this time, now that the Senate has a 50-50 partisan break up, with Vice President Kamala Harris in a position to function a tie-breaker for the Democrats.
“We will begin those discussions with the Senate immediately after the bill is passed,” Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who helps lead police reform efforts within the House, instructed reporters forward of the Wednesday vote. “Over the last several weeks, discussions, especially with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), have been underway.”
But regardless of the invoice’s passage within the House, not all advocacy teams are on board with what they see because the laws’s restricted scope.
“While we understand the urgency to pass police reform at the federal level, we can’t do it in a way that merely provides a veneer of justice while sacrificing real systemic change at the most opportune moment to achieve it,” Maritza Perez, spokesperson for the Drug Policy Alliance, stated in an announcement.
Perez famous that the invoice doesn’t totally tackle points akin to police militarization, quick-knock raids and police practices disproportionately used in opposition to folks of shade in drug investigations
“Unfortunately, because House leadership chose to fast-track last year’s bill, rather than addressing advocates’ and community members’ concerns, that’s exactly the compromise they have made, and today’s vote solidified those failings,” she added. “The House-passed bill fails to provide for real reform and accountability and we oppose this bill in its current form.”
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