Democrats in the House and the Senate have introduced legislation that would limit the powers of police officers nationwide.
Following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on Memorial Day, and the ensuing protests across the nation — some of which have grown violent — Democrats introduced legislation Monday supported by the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Justice in Policing Act of 2020, according to a summary listed on the House website, is a “comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and build trust between law enforcement and our communities.”
The Democrats’ proposal would institute a federal ban on “chokeholds” in order for police to subdue suspects and would also make officers vulnerable to lawsuits.
Additionally, the bill, if it were made law, would mandate the use of body cameras and dashboard cameras by all officers across the country.
Law enforcement agencies would be required to record and report any encounter in which force was used by tracking the demographics of suspected criminals by their race, gender, disability, religion and age.
The Justice in Policing Act would further limit the possession of “military-grade equipment” by all state and local police agencies.
The legislation was unveiled after Democrats took a knee to honor Floyd while dressed in African kente cloths.
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
“When George Floyd called out for his mother, when he was subjected to that knee in the neck, it was just a continuation of some horror that has existed in our country for a very long time,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said, according to The Hill.
“America has a serious and deadly problem when it comes to the discriminatory and excessive policing of communities of color – and that policing exists within a system that time and again refuses to hold police accountable for their brutality,” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said in a statement of the Justice in Policing Act.
Democrats new Justice in Policing Act:
• Bans chokeholds
• Bans no-knock warrants
• Requires bodycams
• Demilitarizes the police
• Ends racial profiling
• Limits qualified immunity
• Police misconduct database
• Lynching a federal crimepic.twitter.com/CjbZ7FBYcd
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 8, 2020
California Sen. Kamala Harris also commented on the proposal, describing it as “historic legislation that will get our country on a path forward.”
“America’s sidewalks are stained with Black blood,” she said in a statement. “In the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s murders, we must ask ourselves: how many more times must our families and our communities be put through the trauma of an unarmed Black man or woman’s killing at the hands of the very police who are sworn to protect and serve them?”
As of Monday, there was no indication that the proposed legislation had bipartisan support.
The unveiling of the Justice in Policing Act came as calls to defund police departments have grown louder.
On Sunday, Minneapolis City Council members said they had a veto-proof majority to dismantle the city’s police department, KMSP-TV reported.
The Daily Caller reported Monday that it had contacted each Democrat in the Senate to inquire if there was any support among lawmakers for defunding the police, but no senators responded to the request for comment.
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) June 8, 2020
President Donald Trump has not commented directly on the Democrats’ proposal, but he did accuse Democrats of attempting to “abandon” the country’s police officers.
This year has seen the lowest crime numbers in our Country’s recorded history, and now the Radical Left Democrats want to Defund and Abandon our Police. Sorry, I want LAW & ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2020
“This year has seen the lowest crime numbers in our Country’s recorded history, and now the Radical Left Democrats want to Defund and Abandon our Police. Sorry, I want LAW & ORDER!” he said Monday on Twitter.
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