Posted by 05 March 2021
This week the House of Representatives passed legislation named after George Floyd that would impose new federal restrictions on how local and state police agencies act.
By a vote of 220-212, the House passed HR 1280. This will would:
- Strip federal money from police agencies that use chokeholds
- Remove immunity from lawsuits for police officers
- Require the use of body cameras
- Prohibit the use of military-style weapons and equipment in police work
- Limit the use of no-knock warrants
- Establish a national database for officers who have a record of abuse complaints
Democrats backing this bill argued that these reforms are necessary to end rampant abuses by law enforcement. They argue that the death of George Floyd is only one of many examples of police misconduct, and it is long overdue for the federal government to step in and curb abusive police activity.
Republicans pushed back, pointing out that this would be a large federal takeover of state and local authority. They also noted that many Americans welcome police presence to protect lives and property, especially in the wake of riots and other disorders that occurred in cities over the past couple of years.
In some cities, activists and politicians are demanding that police department budgets be cut or that some troubled departments be disbanded. While this legislation would not accomplish either of those goals, it would impose new federal restrictions on how police operate.
Only 2 Democrats opposed the legislation. One Republican voted in favor of it but later tweeted that he made a mistake and meant to vote against it.
Do you support federal restrictions on how local and state police agencies operate?