George Floyd Protests

How are Democrats reacting to George Floyd’s death?

All 50 states across the country are witnessing thousands of people protesting for justice and equality after the death of George Floyd 15 days ago in Minneapolis.

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How are Democrats reacting to George Floyd’s death?
Godofredo A. Vasquez / POOL EFE

When a then-active Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck until he could no longer breathe, causing his death, it sparked anger across the United States with millions of people protesting in the streets demanding justice and equality in a movement that has now extended across the world. Two weeks after his death, a private funeral was held in Houston, Texas with his family members.

The death of George Floyd occurred as the United States is battling the coronavirus pandemic and trying to help millions of out-of-work Americans during a period of job destruction not seen sonce the Great Depression. The CARES Act gave over 152 million Americans a stimulus payment of $1,200 per individual but many are asking for more. That led Democrats to propose the HEROES Act, which was passed in the House of Representatives and now it is up to the Senate to approve it. Among other measures, it will provide US citizens with a second round of stimulus relief package payments.

Democrats proposals amid Floyd’s protests

Philonise Floyd speaks during the funeral for his brother, George Floyd, at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 9, 2020.

The Democrats in Congress have proposed sweeping legislation to reform American law enforcement, following weeks of protests against police brutality, police racism, and lack of police accountability. With this bill it will be easier to prosecute police accused of breaching arrest and detention protocols.

The bill will have to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate and it is unclear if they would support the proposed Justice in Policing Act of 2020. President Donald Trump has stated his opposition to the Democrats' proposal, saying that “the radical left Democrats want to defund and abandon our police. Sorry, I want Law and Order.”

What is the Justice in Policing Act of 2020?

This bill was introduced on Monday by top Democratic lawmakers and it will force federal police to use body and dashboard cameras, ban chokeholds, eliminate unannounced police raids known as as “no-knock warrants”, make it easier to hold police liable for civil rights violations and calls for federal funds to be withheld from local police forces who do not make similar reforms.

Some Republican leaders have said they would consider the possibility of writing their own bill, with a hearing scheduled in the Senate Judiciary committee next week.