Democrat politicians have unveiled a sweeping police reform bill, after citizens nationwide have taken to the streets to protest against brutality. According to NBC News, on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the Congressional Black Caucus revealed the new bill. It has been dubbed the "Justice in Policing Act."
Included in the bill is a ban on chokeholds, including the one that was used on George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer. According to a private autopsy report requested by Floyd's family, that was the main contributing factor in his death. Additionally, the bill would ban no-knock warrants in drug cases. This is directly related to the shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. Furthermore, the bill would also require local police departments to send the federal government any date they have regarding the use of force, and it would create a grant program that would let state attorneys general create an independent process for investigating excessive use of force and/or misconduct.
“Empathy and sympathy and words of caring for those who have died and suffered are necessary, but it’s not enough … we must change laws and systems of accountability,” Sen. Cory Booker says as congressional Democrats announce a police reform bill. https://t.co/JnqDlzMFDq pic.twitter.com/aYasVQB8ke— ABC News (@ABC) June 8, 2020
During her speech announcing the bill, Pelosi said, "The martyrdom of George Floyd gave the American experience a moment of national anguish as we grieve for the black Americans killed by police brutality today. She went on to say that "this moment of national anguish is being transformed into a movement of national action as Americans from across the country peacefully protest to demand an end to injustice." She then stated that "with the justice and policing at the Congress is standing with those fighting for justice and taking action."
Widespread protests began after video footage of Floyd's arrest by four Minneapolis police officers went viral the week of May 25. It was on this day that Floyd was being arrested on "suspicion of forgery," and he later died after now-former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes during the arrest. All four arresting officers were fired from the police force and later arrested. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison later announced that Chauvin's murder charge has been upped to second-degree murder. The other three officers have been charged with "aiding and abetting second-degree murder" and "aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter."