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George Floyd protest: What is the police reform bill and what does NAACP want?

The police reform bill would change several current laws and the NCAAP have called for changed to policing at federal, state, and local levels.

A demonstrator raises his fist as he holds an American flag during a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in New York City, New York, U.S. June 9, 2020. Picture taken June 9, 2020.

Protests continue across the United States after the death of George Floyd. The 46-year-old's funeral took place on Tuesday and calls for major reform of policing institutions continue to grow louder. The NAACP - the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - have released a statement calling for the arrest of those responsible for Floyd's murder and for federal, state, and local reforms.

House Democrats unveiled legislation on Monday morning to offer a blueprint for reforming policing policies. The police reform bill is expected to be wide in scope, focusing on holding law enforcement officers accountable for any misconduct and increasing transparency.

“The world is witnessing the birth of a new movement in our country," Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said at a press conference introducing the bill Monday. "A profession where you have the power to kill should be a profession where you have highly trained officers accountable to the public.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that Democrats are aiming to bring their policing reform package to the House floor for a vote in about two weeks, during the week of June 22.

The legislation would change several current laws including the banning of chokeholds and also making it easier for citizens to sue police officers if they are treated unjustly. There is nothing mentioned, however, about defunding the police. That has become a contentious point during the current protests with the Mayor of Minneapolis being booed out of a rally over his unwillingness to back that particular aspect of the protests. It also would require federal uniformed police officers to wear body cameras.

Democrats also want to create a registry for police officers with a history of misconduct to increase transparency. The bill would also make lynching a federal crime. The definition of ‘lynching’ has been debated with Sen. Rand Paul holding up a proposal to turn lynching into a federal crime over this very topic recently.

What are the NCAAP calling for?

The NCAAP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.They are calling for police reforms at all levels.

“Enough is enough. The entire country has reached its limit in terms of deadly police practices. We cannot allow one more Black person to die at the hands of government. Our #WeAreDoneDying campaign is aimed at eliminating racial disparities that are harming our communities and taking our lives. Nowhere is there more systemic injustice than in law enforcement’s treatment of the Black community it is charged with guarding and protecting. We must seize this moment to eliminate racism from policing and to hold every officer accountable for his or her actions,” said Derrick Johnson, the President and CEO of the NAACP:


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