NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Congressman Bobby Scott is working on a bill to reform police departments. Scott introduced the “Justice in Policing Act” to House and Senate Democrats last Monday.
This comes after the senseless death of George Floyd. While in police custody, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
The bill would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants.
“We need to hold police officers accountable and I think that people have come to the conclusion that what’s going on is just not acceptable. What happened in Minneapolis where the police officer knew he was on camera, and did not let up for over eight minutes until George Floyd died. That’s just not acceptable. I think the time has come for some meaningful reforms.”
The bill will set national standards to hold police officers accountable. Scott said this will allow every police department to operate with the same guidelines.
“It will hold police accountable for misconduct, they will not be able to do the kinds of things they’ve been getting away with. I think that has caused a great deal of consternation … the federal law is it’s virtually impossible to hold police officers accountable for misconduct. We make a technical change in the law that allows the federal law and operate just like most state laws do in terms of, of civil and criminal liability for misconduct.”
The bill also includes a registry for police complaints. This will keep a record of incidents, if an officer tries to move to another police department, following misconduct allegations.
This bill does not call to defund police. Instead, Scott said communities will benefit more from crime prevention programs.
This bill was referred to three subcommittees for review.
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