The U.S. House of Representatives cast a sweeping vote on a new police reform bill on Thursday (June 26th), that is said to address issues of systemic racism within the American police force. The vote tallied up to a 236-181 sweep, with Democrats voting favourably. “Exactly one month ago, George Floyd spoke his final words ‘I can’t breathe’ and changed the course of history,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said outside the Capitol, where she gathered with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Americans have since been demanding that that moment of national agony become one of national action.”
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She also noted that the new bill would be named after George Floyd. “The George Floyd Justice and Policing Act will fundamentally transform the culture of policing to address systemic racism, curb police brutality and bring accountability to our police departments,” she explained. “It will save lives.” The bill was first introduced by the Democratic party earlier this month amid widespread public outrage over George’s death, along with all of the Black lives lost at the hands of police.
The legislation would officially ban all neck restraints, including chokeholds, as well as no-knock warrants in federal drug cases, in light of the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, back in March. It will also seek to overhaul qualified immunity for law enforcement, and prohibit racial profiling among law enforcement. However, it is not expected to be taken up by the senate.