The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. If passed in the U.S. Senate, the bill would ban chokeholds and end qualified immunity for law enforcement. The bill would also ban redirect eliminate no-knock warrants, divert funding to community-based funding and enforce data collection on police encounters.
"Never again should an unarmed individual be murdered or brutalized by someone who is supposed to serve and protect them," Rep. Karen Bass stated.
"Never again should the world be subject to witnessing what we saw happen to George Floyd in the streets in Minnesota."
The bill was named in honor of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. After officers were seen pressing their knees into the back of Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, Floyd passed away at 46 years old. His death would spark protests not only in America, but across the country. Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke about how this legislation could affect her home state.
"Time and time again we have witnessed the people who are sworn to protect our communities abuse their power," Omar said.
In the coming weeks, the bill will come before the Senate floor where it will face stiff Republican opposition. A similar bill passed through the House last year before being halted in the Senate. This time around, Rep. Carlos Gimenez called the bill an attempt to "weaken and possibly destroy our community's police forces." With a change in the White House, President Joe Biden is now pushing for the bill to get through Congress.
"I am pleased that the House will vote next week on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. I encourage the House to pass it. Following Senate consideration, I hope to be able to sign into law a landmark police reform bill," he tweeted in February.
In the meantime, the trial of the officer involved in Floyd's death, Derek Chauvin, will begin in Minnesota. Proceedings are set to begin March 8.
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