Police reform: Democrats offer sweeping bill to reform police

Police reform: Democrats offer sweeping bill to reform police

Legislation – led by Congressman Black Caucasus, Democrats on the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Democrats Sens. New Jersey-based California-based Kamala Harris and Cory Booker – comes as the country recovers from the recent deaths of several black Americans at the hands of police, including George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis last month after a white police officer strangled him in the neck. for more than eight minutes.

“People are watching the birth of a new movement in our country,” Black Caucasian Congress President Karen Bass told a news conference Monday that Democrats had officially unveiled the legislation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress “can do nothing less than transformative structural change.” But the proposal, which has yet to be co-sponsored by Republicans, will need bilateral support to succeed through the Senate.

Legislation is the most extensive effort in recent years to crack down on federal police practices in the United States, but it is expected to face strong resistance from Republicans, police unions and local officials who do not want Washington to interfere in their political construction.

“This is a strong movement and it has created such legislation that it was probably impossible to do a month ago,” Booker told CNN in an interview on Sunday.

According to a brief document obtained by CNN, the legislation includes a ban on chokeholds, as well as the creation of a National Police Register to prevent a change of jurisdiction for employees.

The bill also encourages states and territories to impose racial prejudice education and to teach officers about their “duty to intervene.” The bill places some restrictions on the transfer of military equipment to state and local law enforcement authorities and requires federal police bids to wear body cameras.

It also includes anti-lynching legislation that has weakened the Senate. The anti-lynching bill sparked an emotional debate in the Senate last week when Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tried to amend legislation that he said was too broad. Sens. Harris and Booker opposed the move, as Floyd’s memory service was running thousands of miles away.

“It was just unfortunate that he would do it that day. It was unnecessary and honestly very painful for a lot of people,” Booker said.

Legislative initiative is only the beginning of Congress’ action. On Wednesday, the Parliamentary Committee on Justice will hold a hearing on policing and oversight. Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, is expected to testify, according to a committee aide.

Legislative efforts are coming as protests against police brutality and racial justice have erupted across the country, both in major cities and in rural communities. Over the weekend, thousands of protesters in Washington, DC, gathered at the National Mall. Rallies, rallies and protests made headlines in rural Montana on the streets of Portland, Maine.

“So many Americans have taken to the streets across the country. Black, white, Latino, Asian, young, old, gay, straight, citizens, dreamers – people across the spectrum of the beautiful mosaic of the American people say it’s enough Enough, and Congress must hear these cries and act on them That’s what the Democrats are trying to do, “said Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democratic spokesman for Dana Bass, on CNN’s Inside Politics on Sunday.
Democrats are unveiling their police legislation at a time when some left-wing activists are calling for greater efforts to weaken the police. Some liberal lawmakers have voiced support for the movement, while others have offered more careful approaches to funding.

Pelosi did not respond immediately when asked on Monday if she supported local moves to remove the police.

“The fact is that we have a lot of legislation coming down on the lottery that addresses some of the concerns of our communities across the country,” Pelosi said. He suggested that people should have these discussions locally.

“This is a local decision,” he said, but “that does not mean we will raise more money to further militarize the police.”

DC mayor says federal response to protests has led larger groups to participate peacefully

Republicans have not yet shown the embrace of the democratic police legislation introduced on Monday. While Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced last week that she would hold a hearing on police violence on June 16, many Republicans in the Senate argued that Congressional citizens should not be nationalized. that instead, states and regions must take their own action.

“This is a kind of classic Washington. You have an individual and tragic event and people are prolonging it and suggesting that this problem is an epidemic. And I think it was as terrible as what happened to Mr. Floyd and as much as he and his family deserve it. Justice, you can’t paint with such a big brush and condemn the imposition of the law and say it’s a systematic failure, “said Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas.” The idea that Congress should suddenly put in anticipation of the public health crisis, which, incidentally, will not remain pending … to address this is simply, I think, hysteria. “

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said he did not believe it was possible to reach a nationalized, legislative response to policing.

“I don’t think you can find a national, enforceable answer about behavior or practice, nor do I think you can find a national manual that really makes sense to departments,” he told CNN last week.

Jeffries rejected the Republicans’ view that Congress should remain on the sidelines.

“Some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, on the other side of the Capitol, want to keep burying their heads in the sand,” Jeffries said.

“As for the police officers I deal with here in New York, the vast majority are good people who are hardworking and in the community for protection and service, but we can’t deny that we have too many brutal officers. … We have to deal with that. That’s why so many Americans are taking to the streets across the country. “

Parliamentary Attorney General Jerry Nantler said he wanted to vote on the committee just next week.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Sumer said Monday that Republicans will “fight like hell to make it a reality” and will vote on legislation to reform the Senate police, addressing the Senate Majority Leader directly. McConnell.

“Collectively, all Americans must raise our voices and ask leader McConnell to put this reform bill on the floor of the Senate before July to be discussed and voted on,” he said, adding, “Leader McConnell, let We’re talking, not just on TV and Twitter, but on the floor of the United States Senate. “

CNN’s Clare Foran and Haley Byrd contributed to this report.

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