The legislation would ban chokeholds by police, set up a national database for tracking police misconduct and would bar types of ‘no-knock’ warrants
Democrats in Congress have unveiled a sweeping new set of proposals aimed at reforming policing and transforming law enforcement across the country.
The new legislation, called the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, comes during ongoing mass protests across the country in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody, and is the most ambitious change to law enforcement sought by Congress in years.
“We cannot settle for anything less than transformative structural change,” said the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in Congress, drawing on the nation’s history of slavery.
Before unveiling the package, House and Senate Democrats including Chuck Schumer, Congressman Jim Clyburn, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Cory Booker, held a moment of silence at the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall, reading the names of Floyd and others killed during police interactions.
They wore kente cloths handed out by the Congressional Black Caucus and knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds, now a symbol of police brutality and violence – it is the length of time prosecutors say Floyd was pinned under a white police officer’s knee before he died.