A bill named in honour of George Floyd has been approved by The US House of Representatives. It’s regarded as an effort to prevent police misconduct.

The bill first came about after the death of George Floyd back in May 2020.
He died after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck during his arrest. Floyd’s death is regarded as the spark that ignited the Black Lives Matter protests around the world.

The House approved the legislation on Wednesday, March 3rd.

However, this doesn’t mean it will be fully passed despite Democrats now controlling the Senate. It’s not known if there will be enough Republican support behind it. In fact, Republican Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas admitted after the vote that he supported it by accident.

Rep. Karen Bass is a California Democrat. She is leading the efforts to bring change to the police force, Bass told reporters: ‘We are still trying to transform policing in the United States’. She says she is ‘confident that we will be able to have a bipartisan bill in the Senate that will reach President Biden’s desk’.

CNN quotes supporters of the bill as saying it would help to root out racial bias in policing. However, the bill was opposed by two Democrats, Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Ron Kind of Wisconsin.

President Biden supports the bill. He tweeted: “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.”

Changes

If successful, the new bill would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants. It would also require that deadly force ‘be used only as a last resort’.

There would also be a national registry of police misconduct. It would close a current loophole that has seen some police officers evading consequences for their actions by moving to another state.

It would also ban racial and religious profiling by law enforcement at all levels.

Not only that, the bill would also overhaul qualified immunity. This is a legal doctrine that some claim currently shields law enforcement from accountability.

If the overhaul is successful, it would help individuals to ‘to recover damages in civil court when law enforcement officers violate their constitutional rights’.

Discussions are expected to begin with the Senate ‘immediately’.

Do you think it’s a good idea?

Image via Alamy