What is the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act? Nancy Pelosi tweets in support of Tyre Nichols
Warning: Graphic content, readers’ discretion advised.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: While Tyre Nichols' brutal arrest video and subsequent death has shocked the nation, a video of the horrifying attack on former house speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul was released by court. Pelosi also tweeted about Nichols, sending her condolences to his grieving family.
As per CNN, after a California court ruled that the office of the district attorney was required to make materials public, the video and audio files have been released. One of the recordings contains footage taken from the police bodycam when they arrived at Pelosi's house on October 28, 2022, to investigate the assault on him. The video captured what had transpired moments before David DePape struck Paul with a hammer.
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Pelosi's tweet about Nichols read, "My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ mother and their entire family. Tyre should be alive today. Justice must be done. We must reform policing. The House must, again, pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act — and this time, the Senate must advance it to the President. -NP"
My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ mother and their entire family. Tyre should be alive today. Justice must be done.— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) January 28, 2023
We must reform policing. The House must, again, pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act — and this time, the Senate must advance it to the President. -NP
What is the George Floyd Justice in Policing act?
According to Congress.gov, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 was a proposed piece of legislation for the reform of the policing system in the Congress that was floated by the Democrats. On February 24, 2021, the bill was presented to the House of Representatives for consideration. The legislation intends to prevent racial bias in policing, excessive force used by police and misconduct by police officers.
Why was the bill floated?
Protests over the killings of Black Americans, including Floyd and Breonna Taylor, at the hands of predominantly White police officers and people in 2020 was behind the move to float the act. The bill contains legislation that civil rights supporters have long sought.
The bill was approved by the Democratically controlled House of Representatives by a vote of 220 to 212, with the majority of the votes falling along party lines. However, it was not approved by the evenly divided Senate due to opposition from Republicans. In September of 2021, the Democrats and Republicans in the Senate were unable to reach an agreement on a measure to overhaul the system.
What does the Act aim to do?
In terms of police accountability and procedures, the Act expands on who may be held responsible when cops break the law, puts limits on how some types of police work can be done, makes data gathering and sharing easier, and mandates new standards for training officers. It improves upon pre-existing enforcement systems for dealing with police misconduct. It lowers the bar for federal prosecution of police misconduct from willful to knowing or reckless, places restrictions on the use of qualified immunity as a defense in private civil actions against police, and gives the Department of Justice (DOJ) the authority to issue administrative subpoenas in the course of investigations into systemic or pervasive misconduct, per Congress.gov.
The Act sets up a structure to stop and fix racial profiling by police at all levels of government. Constraining the use of no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and carotid holds are also incuded in the Act. It establishes the National Police Misconduct Registry, a central repository for information about and documentation of police misconduct complaints and investigations. It also mandates new forms of reporting, such as those dealing with police brutality, officer misconduct, and standard policing procedures (e.g., stops and searches). Finally, it mandates that all law enforcement officers be trained on racial profiling, implicit prejudice and the obligation to intervene when another officer uses excessive force. It orders the Department of Justice to develop consistent accrediting criteria for law enforcement agencies.