After 2020 Amerikkka is different but somehow things have yet to actually change…
Today marks one year to the day that George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin in front of a crowd of people on the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Subsequently, millions of protesters of all races took to the streets for weeks to be loud about their disgust and desire for change after witnessing years of egregious Black death at the hands of the state. George’s daughter Gianna Floyd is now famous for her quote: “Daddy changed the world!”
Gianna is very aware of how her father’s cold-blooded killing served as the impetus for change. The look of hope on her face should give even the most cynical person a reason to believe that we can still be better as a society. Sadly, we ain’t there yet. One of the legislative measures that would aid in creating true change in this racist country is H.R.7120 also known as the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act of 2020. This bill was introduced on June 6, 2020 and is sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass of California. H.R.7120 was approved by the House in March but has yet to receive a vote in the Senate as Republicans like Mitch McConnell don’t have any interest in reforming law enforcement nor holding abusive, trigger-happy, and murderous police accountable for the people they hurt and kill because “blue lives matter”.
H.R.7120, in its original form, is a substantial piece of legislation that could provide protection for the citizens and punishment for those who violate them. One major sticking point that is keeping those on the right from giving their full-throated support is a clause called “qualified immunity”. This is the legal jargon that prevents police officers from facing most civil lawsuits regardless of their actions. This clause is essential to the George Floyd Act because it is the sharp teeth that will threaten the livelihood of cops if they brutalize or kill a citizen unjustly. Any law that doesn’t have legal ramifications won’t lead to substantive change.
NBCNews lays out few other clauses written into H.R.7120 that aim to curtail and correct cops’ violent tendencies:
Ban no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and, as with chokeholds, encourage local and state agencies to comply by tying bans to federal funding. A no-knock warrant led to the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor by police last year in Louisville, Kentucky.
Make it easier to prosecute police officers accused of misconduct by lowering the legal standard from willfulness to recklessness.
Prohibit racial, religious and discriminatory profiling by law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels and mandate training against such discriminatory profiling.
Require local and state police agencies to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of body cameras, require all federal uniformed officers to wear body cameras, and require all marked federal police vehicles to use dashboard cameras.
Create a national police misconduct registry to prevent police officers who are fired or pushed out for bad performance from being hired by other agencies.
These are just a few of the ideas that responsible lawmakers want to implement. We highly suggest you go to Congress.gov to read the bill in its entirety. This is why it is important to vote so that there are people in office who recognize injustice and have the balls to do something about it.
Rest in peace, George Floyd. Your life will always matter.