Congressional Democrats took a knee Monday as they observed 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence in honor of George Floyd before before unveiling the "Justice in Policing Act" police reform bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday unveiled their legislation, which would revamp policing nationwide amid Black Lives Matter protests.
If passed, the Justice in Policing Act would ban chokeholds, including the restraint used by police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of Floyd last month, as well as no-knock warrants in drug cases, which led to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville this March. Local police departments would also be required to send data on the use of force to the federal government.
Congressional Democrats take a knee as they observe a nearly nine minute moment of silence for George Floyd at Emancipation Hall at the U.S. Capitol. https://t.co/JnqDlzMFDq pic.twitter.com/8CBdgtLUjz— ABC News (@ABC) June 8, 2020
The bill would also create a grant program to allow state attorneys general to form their own independent process to investigate misconduct and excessive use of force, as well as making it easier for people to recover damages when police departments violate their civil rights, according to a summary of the bill obtained by NBC. A new police training program would also be created under the bill that covered racial bias as well as duty to intervene, and would institute new restrictions requiring police officers use deadly force only as a last resort after de-escalation techniques have failed.
The bill would also aim to keep police officers who have been disciplined from getting jobs with other departments without disclosing that history, creating a federal registry for misconduct complaints and disciplinary actions against officers. Federal uniformed police officers would also be required to wear body cameras and marked federal police vehicles would be required to have dashboard cameras. Also included in the legislation would be the limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local police departments.
Pelosi said upon the introduction of the bill, "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. 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. Today, with the justice and policing at the Congress is standing with those fighting for justice and taking action."