WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives passed George Floyd’s law on justice and policing in the police on Wednesday night, voting 220-212, introducing a series of police reform measures following a national uprising against racial injustice and police brutality.
The draft law on police reform aims to strengthen police accountability and prevent problems for officers from transferring from one department to another by creating a national registry to keep track of those with plaid records. It would also put an end to certain police practices that were under scrutiny after the deaths of Black Americans in the last year.
California spokeswoman Karen Bass, a Democrat and former congressional black club chairwoman who returned the law with House Justice Judge Jerrold Nadler, DN.Y., said Wednesday morning during a press call 30 years after police beat Rodney King Los Angeles. “We are still trying to transform the police in the United States. And since George Floyd was killed a year ago, there have been more than 100 shootings involving police officers, there have been many examples of police officers not being charged.
“At one point we have to ask ourselves, ‘How many more people have to die?’ How many more people have to be brutalized on videotape like three girls – 6, 8 and 11 years old – in Colorado who were pulled out of a car and lying on the ground? ‘We must now work to transform the police in the United States in order to hold the police accountable, but also to provide them with the support needed for accreditation and to raise the standard of policing in the United States. “
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd cried out he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked protests across the country against police brutality and systemic racism.
What’s in George Floyd’s Justice and Police Act
The reintroduced law would: prohibit racial and religious profiling and mandated profiling training; prohibit damping, carotid retention, and striking orders; require the use of federal funds to ensure the use of body cameras; establish a National Register for Police Misconduct; change the prosecution standard for the police from “arbitrariness” to “recklessness” and reform qualified immunity; and require stronger reporting on police use of force.
Asked by reporters, a senior Democratic aide said the law also creates “grants for public safety innovation for community-based organizations to create local conditions and working groups to review and develop concrete, equitable and equitable approaches to public safety.”
The law was first introduced last year amid state protests over racial inequality following the death of George Floyd, and was passed at the last Congress with a two-party vote 236-181.
In the Senate, Republicans proposed other bills on the issue, such as Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina introducing the JUSTICE Act – which shares parts of the George Floyd Police Act – and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky introducing Justice for Breona Taylor Prohibition Act without dunking.
Taylor died on March 13, 2020, after police entered her Louisville home in the early hours of the morning as part of a drug investigation, using a “no knocking” warrant. Police say the shooting began after one of the officers was shot and injured.
A qualified immunity provision in George Floyd’s Justice and Police Act was a difficult place to sell GOP senators. Scott, a lone black Republican senator, did not address qualified immunity in his legislation – a legal doctrine that protects police officers from personal liability in civil court if someone is killed. He was subsequently blocked by Democrats, arguing that it did not go far enough.
Scott told reporters Monday that he spoke to Bass “looking at the bill in its entirety.”
The laws will require at least 10 Republican Senate votes to join all 50 Democrats to reach President Joe Biden’s table.
“I am confident that with Karen Bass’s leadership, we will pass this on through the Senate,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told a news conference after the bill was passed.
“Many people who did not vote for this bill did not honor that vote,” he said.
A lone Republican who voted for the bill, Lance Gooden MP, R-Texas, said he made a mistake.
“I accidentally pressed the wrong vote button and realized it was too late,” he said tweetao after the vote. “I changed the official file to reflect my opposition to the George Floyd Police Act.”
He later deleted the post, but a few minutes later tweetao that he “changed the official record to reflect” his opposition to the law.
Two Democrats, Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis. And Jared Golden, D-Maine, voted against the law.
Bass said earlier Wednesday that there had been talks in recent weeks between her office and Senator Cory Booker, DN.J., a leading Senate Democrat in the police force, and Scott.
The House passed the George Floyd Police Act in the police on Wednesday instead of Thursday, as planned. The schedule change comes when Capitol police warned of a Capitol security threat on Thursday.
Contributed by: Deborah Barfield Berry, Nicholas Wu USA TODAY