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US House approves George Floyd police reform bill
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US House approves George Floyd police reform bill

The US House of Representatives on Thursday approved the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to address policing issues and law enforcement accountability. The bill passed by a vote of 236-181, mainly along party lines.

The bill lays out a number of reforms. Among other things, the bill

  1. lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution,
  2. limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer or state correctional officer, and
  3. authorizes the Department of Justice to issue subpoenas in investigations of police departments for a pattern or practice of discrimination.”

The bill also creates the National Police Misconduct Registry to gather data on complaints and records of police misconduct. It establishes a framework to prohibit racial profiling at all government levels. In addition, it would require agencies to report data on use-of-force incidents, give officers training on implicit bias and racial profiling and require officers to wear body cameras.

The bill still needs to pass in the Republican-majority Senate. This bill comes a day after another bill introduced in the Senate failed, after being described by Democratic opposition as too weak.