(AllHipHop News) After the world saw George Floyd being murdered on a Minneapolis street on May 25 while in police custody, people across the globe took to the streets in protest of police violence and systemic racism. The United States House of Representatives has finally taken a tangible step to try to change policing in America through legislation.
By a vote of 236 to 181, the House approved H.R.7120 which is also known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. Three Republicans joined with Democrats in supporting the bill.
“The House just PASSED the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act with Bipartisan support. Honored to have delivered the closing argument during debate. To those seeking change throughout America. We hear you. We see you. We are you,” tweeted Representative Hakeem Jeffries [D-NY-8], the Democratic Caucus Chairman.
The House just PASSED the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act with Bipartisan support.
Honored to have delivered the closing argument during debate.
To those seeking change throughout America.
We hear you. We see you. We are you. pic.twitter.com/yZHFdMFf0J
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) June 26, 2020
Representative Karen Bass [D-CA-37] sponsored H.R.7120 with 230 co-sponsors’ names attached to the bill. The Congressional Black Caucus endorsed the legislation. Senator Kamala Harris [D-CA] and Senator Cory Booker [D-NJ] supported a similar measure in the Senate.
While the Democratic-led House managed to pass a police reform act, a Republican-backed Senate bill was unable to get the 60 procedural votes needed to break a filibuster (55-45) this week. Two Democratic senators joined with the GOP on the failed motion.
Critics complained the Republican’s proposal did not do enough to enforce serious change in police practices. The House bill institutes an outright ban on the use of chokeholds by federal officials and forbids no-knock warrants in federal drug-related cases. Plus, it opens the door to more personal accountability for law enforcement by limiting qualified immunity as a defense in a private civil action against officers.
Senator Tim Scott’s [R-SC] proposed act in the Senate did not do any of those actions. It did push for the creation of a national database to track police misconduct and to make lynching a federal crime, provisions Democrat lawmakers also wanted to see pass.
Because there seems to be a wide chasm between the Democrats and the Republicans on police reform, it is currently not clear how any legislation will pass both houses of Congress and get signed into law by President Donald Trump. Members of both parties have called out legislators on the other side of the aisle for allegedly playing politics instead of trying to build a bipartisan coalition.