House Democrats on Wednesday reintroduced policing legislation named in honor of George Floyd, whose death in police custody last year sparked nationwide calls to address police misconduct and racial injustice.
The bill – titled the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 – has provisions to overhaul qualified immunity for law enforcement, prohibitions on racial profiling on the part of law enforcement and a ban on no-knock warrants in federal drug cases.
It would also ban chokeholds at the federal level and classify them as a civil rights violation and would establish a national registry of police misconduct maintained by the Department of Justice.
The House could vote on this proposal as soon as next week, congressional aides told CNN.
“This legislation addresses police misconduct and excessive force, while creating greater transparency within law enforcement, and grants victims more direct avenues for redress. With this legislation, the federal government demonstrates its commitment to fully reexamining law enforcement practices and building better relationships between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a statement.
“While the issue of policing can’t be solved by Congress alone, the federal government has a responsibility to address this issue. I look forward to working with my colleagues, across the aisle and in both chambers, to ensure this bill becomes law.”
That message was echoed by Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California, who touted the legislation as an important step toward holding law enforcement accountable.
“Never again should an unarmed individual be murdered or brutalized by someone who is supposed to serve and protect them. Never again should a family have to turn on the TV and watch the murder of their loved one over and over again,” she said.
“Never again should the world be subject to witnessing what we saw happen to George Floyd in the streets in Minnesota.”
The gruesome video of Floyd’s killing at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer prompted the kind of soul searching about the role of police in society and systemic racism in the criminal justice system, and the nation writ large, that many advocates have been urging for decades.
In response, House Democrats had introduced and passed the bill – then titled the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 – just weeks after Floyd’s death. The legislation, however, was never passed in the Senate.
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.