The House Passes George Floyd Policing Bill
The United States House of Representatives has passed a monumental bill seeking to address policing issues. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was approved 220-112 Wednesday. In addition, one Republican did vote for the bill: Texas Rep. Lance Gooden. After the fact, he claimed to press the wrong button and voted for the act accidentally.
More importantly, the bill passed the House on the 30th anniversary of the videotaped beating of Rodney King. Los Angeles Police officers brutally murdered King in 1991.
The Floyd Act would ban chokeholds and “qualified immunity” for police officers. Qualified immunity currently does not hold police accountable for their actions financially. The act would also create national standards for policing.
Civil Rights Activists And Floyd’s Family Attorney Commend The Bill’s Passage
Attorneys Benjamin Crump and Antonio Romanucci, representatives of the Floyd family, released a statement supporting the passage of the reform.
“On behalf of the family of George Floyd, we are deeply gratified and grateful for the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, responding to the mandate issued by thousands of Americans who took to the streets last summer to raise their voices for change,” the statement reads.
Organizations Disagree With Current Verbiage
However, some organizations argue that the legislation is limited in its reach.
The Drug Policy Alliance says it “fails to provide for real reform and accountability, and we oppose this bill in its current form. Notably, this bill fails to fully address issues like police militarization and quick-knock raids, policing practices that are disproportionately used against people of color in drug investigations.”
“While the bill places restrictions on programs that facilitate the transfer of military equipment to local police departments, it does not outright put an end to such programs,” noted Maritza Perez, DPA’s director of the Office of National Affairs. “And while this bill prohibits no-knock warrants for drug cases, it does not outlaw quick-knock raids which can be just as deadly.”
“Moreover,” she continued, “the bill continues to fund police departments and the war on drugs, rather than shift resources to education, housing, harm reduction services and other infrastructure that strengthens communities and increases public safety.”
The next step is for the Senate to pass the bill. Then send it on to President Biden’s desk for approval.