US House passes ‘George Floyd’ police reform bill
The US House of Representatives passed a sweeping police reform bill that currently has little prospect of becoming law amid partisan gridlock.
The Democratic-controlled chamber voted 236-181 for the measure mainly along party lines on Thursday night, BBC reported.
The legislation is named after George Floyd, the unarmed black man whose death in police custody last month ignited worldwide protests.
But US President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the measure.
And his fellow Republicans in the Senate are proposing their own, less far-reaching bill.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was passed exactly a month after the Minneapolis, Minnesota, man’s death – at warp speed for a usually deliberative and ponderous legislative body.
The Democratic bill would hold police officers personally liable for damages in lawsuits, ban no-knock warrants often used by police in drug raids, and halt the flow of military surplus equipment to police departments. Three Republicans crossed party lines to vote in favor. But Senate Republicans have refused to take up the House version, arguing it is an overreach that would undermine law enforcement.
Both the Republican and Democratic proposals would curtail police chokeholds, introduce new training procedures, seek to expand the use of body cameras and create a national registry for officers accused of misconduct.
However, Democrats say the Republican bill will not protect black Americans, arguing that it relies on data collection and financial incentives for state and local police departments to adopt reforms on their own.
On Wednesday, Senate Democrats denied Republicans the votes needed to open floor debate on their legislation.
Neither bill would defund the police, and divert that spending to other community services, as called for by Black Lives Matter activists.