US: Democrats propose bill to reform police force as protests intensify

US: Democrats propose bill to reform police force as protests intensify

The US Democrats proposed a new bill in Congress, named The Justice in Policing Act that consisted of banning chokeholds, creating a database utilized to monitor police misconduct and restricting certain categories of ‘no-knock’ warrants.

The new legislation would consist of several regulations that would restrict the usage of violence in the field.

The legislation also proposes measures that would simplify the process of prosecuting police members when they violate the rights of civilians and prevent racial profiling and biases.

US senator Cory Booker commented on twitter: “Today @KamalaHarris, @ChuckSchumer, @SpeakerPelosi, @RepKarenBass, @TheBalckCaucus and I announced legislation that will create stronger systems of trasperancy and accountability while bringing needed reform to police departments across the country”.

The new proposal came weeks after the initiation of numerous protests nationwide due to the death of George Floyd. Although this ambitious law would be of the most drastic enforcement attempted in Congress in years, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said “We cannot settle for anything less than transformative structural change.”

The Congressional Black Caucus worked in conjoint with the House Democrats to present this new initiative. Karen Bass, a chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus elaborated on the impact the protests were causing and stated, “A profession where you have the power to kill should be a profession where you have highly trained officers that are accountable to the public,”

Before the meeting initiated, in commemoration of George Floyd and in solidarity with the African American community, the House and Senate Democrats dressed in kente cloths and knelt in silence for eight minutes and forty-six minutes, the amount of time the victim was pinned to the floor.

“There is more to come,” said Pelosi. “Once the House passes the Justice and Policing Act McConnell will, hopefully, take it up. During the Congress, the president must not stand in the way of justice, the Congress and the country will not relent until this legislation is made into law.”

The proposal was merely the first step. The process will be long and uncertain as it has to surpass several barriers before its approved. The current position of the Senate, majorly constituted by Republicans, is unclear. They have yet to comment on the announcement.

Sophie Velloso

Sophie Velloso is studying International Relations at Richmond the American International University in London. She is focusing her studies in the areas of transnational public affairs. She has an interest in geopolitics, international security, and sustainable development.