Late yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, an important piece of legislation designed to increase police accountability and begin to root out systemic racism in policing. The bill was first introduced in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, which spurred nationwide protests against systemic racism and state-sponsored violence. Among other things, the bill would create a national database of police misconduct, establish a national use of force standard, prohibit no-knock warrants for drug offenses, and make it easier to prosecute law enforcement officers for misconduct.
Last night’s vote marks the second time that the bill has passed through the House, as the Senate refused to take up the bill when it was passed in 2020. Now, under new leadership, it is expected that the Senate will vote on the bill in the coming months. The Biden-Harris administration has already expressed support for the bill.
Brent J. Cohen, the executive director of Generation Progress, issued the following statement in response:
“Young people—particularly young people of color—have been powerful leaders in the movement for racial justice, and the passage of this bill in the House gives us hope that the voices and perspectives of movement leaders are being heard. The Senate must take up the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, further strengthen the legislation, and swiftly pass it.
For far too long, police violence and systemic racism in policing have gone unchecked. This bill begins the process of increasing transparency and accountability, and is a significant step in a more just direction.
We look forward to Congress and the Biden-Harris administration building on this momentum with the continued input of community leaders.”
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