US House passes 'George Floyd' police reform bill

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Mar 04, 2021, 05.41 PM(IST)

This is how George Floyd was killed Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Democrats pushed the "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act" through the House by a vote of 220-212, with the support of only one Republican.

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that bans controversial police tactics and eases the way for lawsuits against officers violating suspects' constitutional rights.

Democrats pushed the "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act" through the House by a vote of 220-212, with the support of only one Republican. This happened just days before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin goes on trial on a state murder charge in the death of Floyd last year.

The 46-year-old African-American man died when he was detained with Chauvin kneeling on his neck for nearly eight minutes. His killing sparked weeks of nationwide and global protests, many of which were led by Black Lives Matter activists.

In a turnaround though, later on Wednesday evening, Representative Lance Gooden, the sole Republican who voted for the legislation, wrote in a post on Twitter that his vote had been a mistake and in fact he opposes the bill.

The said bill includes measures such as restricting certain funds to local governments that allow law enforcement officers to use choke holds, banning "no-knock warrants" that allow police officers to enter premises without announcing themselves and requiring law enforcement agencies to provide data on instances when police officers used deadly force.

The bill would hold police "accountable" when constitutional rights are violated but would also support local law enforcement by fostering improvements in community policing, especially for minority neighbourhoods.

Also, one of its most controversial provisions would change "qualified immunity" for police, further opening the door for lawsuits over the use of excessive force.

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