Democrats introduce bill against police violence


Washington: In the wake of anti-racial protests across the US, Democrats have introduced a bill aimed to reform police departments, including language to prohibit actions that caused the death of African-American man George Floyd.

“This moment of national anguish is being transformed into a movement of national action as Americans from across the country peacefully protest to demand an end to injustice. Today, with the justice and policing at the Congress is standing with those fighting for justice and taking action,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday while announcing the “Justice in Policing Act” at a press conference along with some 20 Congressmen and senators.

The bill would prohibit officers from using chokeholds or other acts to restrain suspects that could cut off their breathing, tactics that many police departments around the country have already banned but which are still used regularly in certain parts of the US.

In addition, the bill would prohibit judges from approving warrants for police drug raids on residences without first knocking and announcing themselves as police.

The bill would also formally state that police tactics that are racially discriminatory are illegal and would require police departments to deliver data to a federal government database on the use of force so that any negligent police conduct can be catalogued and monitored.

Also, the bill would make it easier for victims to sue police departments for civil rights violations.

The bill specifically states that it is not only geared at preventing police abuses in African-American communities, but also against Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans, according to the Congressional Black Caucus president, Karen Bass.

However, the bill does not address the demand being made by the Black Lives Matter movement and many progressives who have been demonstrating since Floyd’s death that police departments be “defunded”, that is have their funding severely reduced or eliminated, and those funds invested in local communities.

President Donald Trump reacted to the Democratic bill, saying: “LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy.”

Image courtesy of IANS

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