On Wednesday, House lawmakers voted along party lines 219-213 in favor of passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act named after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died while Minneapolis police knelt on his neck. Floyd’s death sparked worldwide protests and countless riots in many cities throughout the U.S.
If passed by the Senate and signed into law, the police reform bill would ban police from using chokeholds, eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement, and prohibit no-knock warrants. The bill would also ban racial and religious profiling and encourage police departments to exercise diverse hiring practices.
The bill also mandates that complaints about law enforcement misconduct be reviewed by a Task Force on Law Enforcement Oversight within the Department of Justice, and that federal data on law enforcement agencies be collected.
Last but certainly not least, at least 5 percent of a police department’s funding must be redistributed to community-based programs such as counseling services and increased police training.
“Never again should an unarmed individual be murdered or brutalized by someone who is supposed to serve and protect them,” said Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), according to NPR. “Never again should the world be subject to witnessing what we saw happen to George Floyd in the streets in Minnesota.”
President Biden tweeted his support of the bill last week.
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.— President Biden (@POTUS) February 25, 2021
Democratic Senators will need to persuade 10 Republicans across party lines in order for the bill to receive the 60 votes needed to pass through the Senate.