House of Representatives Passes Policing Bill Targeting Racial Bias and Use of Force By Officers

It looks like the Democrats are attempting to move a little more swift regarding actions taken over police brutality. The new legislation, titled the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, was announced this morning. 

The bill is aimed at stopping the use of excessive force by law enforcement in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who was killed by Minneapolis police last month. 

As expected, the majority of Republicans in the lower chamber slammed Democrats for shutting them out while writing the bill, and many voiced concerns on key provisions.

All 233 Democrats voted in favor of the House bill, along with three Republicans: Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan, Will Hurd of Texas and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. A move that is hopefully a spark to get individuals from both sides on the same page. 

“Today we have the opportunity and the obligation to ensure that his death and the death of so many others is not in vain,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a news conference prior to the House debate and vote on the bill.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass, D-Calif., put the House Bill forward. Which included reforms such as banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants in drug cases, along with making it easier to pursue claims against police officers in court.

“Far too often in America, unarmed and innocent Black men and women are killed by police. We need accountability for officers who kill, and we need to change the culture of silence and complicity where officers protect their own rather than the public they serve,” said DCCC spokeswoman Robyn Patterson. Adding, “Once again, Republicans have chosen their party in Washington over everyday Americans and turned their back on the demands for justice and reform by the American people”. 

Now, in order for actual change to be made, the House and Senate will need to agree and join forces on legislation before it can head to President Trump’s desk for his potential signature. Which is another huge hurdle to jump.