George Floyd Police Bill Reintroduced Amid 4th Murder Anniversary

Mothers Of Black Men Killed By Police Speak Out Against Proposed NY Menthol Ban

Source: Michael M. Santiago / Getty

A sweeping criminal justice reform bill that’s languished in legislative limbo for years is set to be reintroduced ahead of the fourth anniversary of the police murder of George Floyd, for whom the would-be law is named.

Longtime Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is expected to be joined by family members of Black people who have been killed by law enforcement, civil rights organizations and members of Congress during the official reintroduction of the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act during a press conference on Thursday.

This article will be updated once the bill is officially reintroduced.

What is the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act?

The bill ambitiously aims to end police brutality, hold police accountable, improve transparency in policing and create meaningful, structural change when it comes to how law enforcement does their jobs.

It was originally introduced in June 2020, less than a month after a Minneapolis police officer used his knee to apply deadly pressure to Floyd’s neck on Memorial Day that year. Floyd’s repeated pleas that he couldn’t breathe were ignored by Derek Chauvin and three other officers who have since been fired and are serving various prison sentences related to the murder.

If the bill advances through the House and Senate and gets signed into law, it would be the first-ever bold, comprehensive law enforcement accountability and transparency legislation.

Originally authored by now-former Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, now-former California Sen. Kamala Harris and New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the multi-tiered Justice in Policing Act makes an effort to address many of the issues highlighted by the ongoing spate of the police killings of unarmed Black people. That includes putting pieces in place (or taking them away) in order to affect real structural change with meaningful reform to establish a better rapport between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Some of the notable portions of the bill include redefining malleable legal terms that impede the successful prosecution of killer cops as well as not offering any new federal funding for police departments.

Perhaps most significantly, the bill aims to hold police accountable by collecting data about officers accused of misconduct and worse behavior.  It would establish a national registry that would attempt to address loopholes that allow cops who have been fired from one department to be hired by another.

There are other pertinent provisions the Justice in Policing Act covers, as well, including mandating the use of body cameras and dashboard cameras.

The bill also apparently offers a nod to the deaths of Floyd as well as Ahmaud Arbery by banning police from using a chokehold as well as making lynching a federal crime.

Arbery’s mother is expected to be among those standing with Congresswoman Jackson Lee when the bill is reintroduced.

Congress has notably failed for more than a century to enact federal anti-lynching legislation. The Justice in Policing Act would not only address that shortcoming but also re-establish the controversial definition of lynching, which Democratic aides discussing background on the bill said highlights the group nature of violent acts. That would constitute charges for conspiring to violate one of the hate crimes already on the books.

President Joe Biden in 2021 set a deadline to have a deal in place to pass the bill by the first anniversary of Floyd’s murder, but that day came and went without any agreement.

Since then, critics have said the police keep getting away with “murder” as there are few laws in place to hold them accountable for brutality and excessive force.

Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, a member of a bipartisan Congressional group that reviewed the legislation, was largely blamed for preventing the bill from moving forward after he refused to budge from his position supporting qualified immunity, protections that shield police officers from civil liability when they’ve violated a citizen’s constitutional right.

Biden’s executive order on policing

In 2022, Biden signed an executive order in an effort to bring some semblance of meaningful reform to policing in America on the second anniversary of Floyd’s murder. Civil rights groups responded by saying that the executive order was an important first step but ultimately required a broader legislative effort to institute protocols that include true accountability.

Biden’s executive order promotes accountability by creating a national database of police misconduct, strengthening police pattern or practice investigations, ensuring timely and thorough investigations and consistent discipline and mandating body camera policies that include activating the devices “during activities like arrests and searches” and swiftly making the footage public.

The executive order also aims to raise certain police standards, including banning certain chokeholds and no-knock warrants; instituting new requirements to de-escalate law enforcement encounters with civilians; improving training practices as it relates to recruiting, hiring and promotions and revamping the way officers respond to unspecified crises; and improving data transparency on use of force incidents.

The language of Biden’s executive order is fairly consistent with that of the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act that Senate Republicans have filibustered into legislative purgatory.

This is America.


Can The Police Truly Be Reformed? The US Government Has Limited Power To Regulate Cops

Tim Scott Lied About ‘Defund’ Language Killing Police Reform, Law Enforcement Groups Suggest

Opening Arguments Begin In Derek Chauvin Trial Over Death Of George Floyd

77 photos

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button