The Justice in Policing Act enters revision in the House of Representatives


Bruce Detorres (Flickr)

Nancy Pelosi D-California.

Ivana Venema-Nunez, Reporter

The Justice in Policing Act proposal follows weeks of national and international protests that were sparked by the killing of George Floyd.

House and Senate Democrats have proposed legislation to prohibit police from using chokeholds, lower legal standards to pursue criminal and civil penalties for police misconduct, create a national registry to track police misconduct, ban certain no-knock warrants and mandate federal level training to cover racial bias, implicit bias, and duty to intervene, among other changes, according to a summary provided by NPR.

The bill would make it a federal crime to conspire to violate existing hate crimes laws.

Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif. called it a “transformative vision of policing in America.”

Bass spoke with Morning Edition’s Rachel Martin about this legislation and says the biggest change it will bring is a shift in police culture. 

“Raising the standards, having national certification and raising the level of policing in the United States so that it is like many other professions,” Bass described. “The profession that has the power to kill should be a profession that has national standards, is transparent and is accountable to the public.”

For most of June, the House of Representatives are expected to be working on the measure and are hopeful the GOP-controlled Senate will respond with support. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Congress is standing with those “fighting for justice and taking action.” according to the NPR report.

Every Thursday, Pelosi is expected to hold a press conference at 10:45 a.m. EDT, where she will give remarks regarding the ongoing protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Pelosi was asked by Floyd’s brother if the bill would pass and she assured him it would.

“Yes, It will be passed because the public insist upon it.” Pelosi answered, “So we will not rest until it becomes law. We will not rest until change is made.”

According to Business Insider, Republicans remain skeptical of the Democrats’ proposal.  Sen Mitt Romney reportedly announced plans to introduce a bipartisan policing bill and called the current bill a “message piece as opposed to a real piece of legislation.”

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was “open-minded” about ideas mentioned in the bill, including creating a registry of police misconduct and banning chokeholds according to the article.

President Donald Trump and other top Republicans have accused Democrats of attempting to push radical changes and promote the disbanding of local police departments, even though that is not actually mentioned in the Democratic proposal.