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Sewell votes to pass George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate, where it needs the support of at least 10 Republicans.


U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, on Wednesday voted to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds and make changes to qualified immunity protections for police officers. 

HR1280 passed the U.S. House 220-212 along party lines. One Republican who voted in favor of the bill later said he did so in error and corrected the record to vote against the legislation. The bill will now head to the Senate, where it will need the support of at least 10 Republicans. 

“Last summer, our nation experienced a racial reckoning that exposed the horrors of police brutality and racial injustice that continue to plague communities of color,” Sewell said in a statement. “Despite mass protests and a growing awareness of this crisis, the epidemic of police brutality continues – with African Americans being twice as likely to die at the hands of the police.” 

“In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent protests across the nation, there is no denying that this moment is different. Our brothers and sisters – Black and white – are crying out for bold change. All lives cannot matter until Black Lives Matter. The Justice In Policing Act will help save lives and, importantly, hold police accountable,” Sewell continued. 

The bill would ban no-knock warrants used in federal drug cases, and prohibit neck restraints, in addition to revamping qualified immunity protections for officers. 

The legislation would also require federal uniformed police officers to wear body cameras and state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras.

The act is named after George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, killed by Minneapolis police in May 2020.

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Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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