You are here

US House poised for vote on Democratic police reform bill

[WASHINGTON] The Democratic-led US House of Representatives is expected to vote on sweeping police reform legislation on Thursday, amid concern that efforts to rein in police misconduct after the death of George Floyd could end in political stalemate.

A day after Democrats blocked the Senate from moving ahead on a Republican bill, the House is due to consider legislation backed by Democrats including the Congressional Black Caucus, but opposed by President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress.

The House measure was likely to pass along party lines, exactly one month after Floyd died with a white Minneapolis police officer's knee on his neck, sparking weeks of nationwide and international protests against police brutality.

The Floyd tragedy has stirred strong public sentiment for stopping excessive force by police, especially against African-Americans.

But the Democratic bill has been rejected by Republicans who lead the Senate.

Your feedback is important to us

Tell us what you think. Email us at btuserfeedback@sph.com.sg

"The writing's on the wall where this is going to end up, and that really is unfortunate, because I think there is broad bipartisan support for significant reform," Republican Representative Kelly Armstrong told a House panel on Wednesday.

The Democratic and Republican bills address similar issues: chokeholds, no-knock warrants, police body cameras, use of deadly force, and training to de-escalate confrontations with suspects and to encourage officer intervention against illegal conduct as it occurs.

Republicans oppose the Democratic bill because of mandates they say could undermine law enforcement. Democrats opposed the Republican measure for seeking reform through incentives and data collection rather than imposing changes outright.

Some lawmakers held out hope that negotiations would ultimately produce bipartisan reforms that could be approved by both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by Mr Trump.

"I believe we're going to eventually put a bill on the president's desk," said Representative Karen Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

REUTERS

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to t.me/BizTimes