President Joe Biden is urging Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Earlier this month, Derek Chauvin, the former officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death.
“We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black America,” the POTUS said on Wednesday (April 28). “Now is our opportunity to make real progress. We have to come together. To rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve. To root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system. And to enact police reform in George Floyd’s name that passed the House already.”
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was originally introduced by Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California following Floyd’s death. The House passed the bill in March, but it has since been stalled in the Senate — which is evenly split.
If the bill becomes a law, it will implement changes to policing standards across the country. According to The Hill, “racial profiling at every level of law enforcement would be prohibited; chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants would be banned at the federal level; qualified immunity for officers would be overhauled; and a national police misconduct registry would be created so officers who were fired for such discretions could not be hired by another police department.”
Biden pushed both parties to get the bill passed by May 25 — the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death. “I know the Republicans have their own ideas and are engaged in productive discussions with Democrats. We need to work together to find a consensus,” the president said.
“Congress should act,” Biden added. “We have a giant opportunity to bend to the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”