Public outcry over the fatal beating of Tire Nichols has spurred fresh calls for police reform on Capitol Hill, as lawmakers return to Washington days after graphic body camera footage was made public.
President Joe Biden, members of Congress and others have advocated for consideration of legislation such as the George Floyd Fairness in Policing Act after the video was released, pointing to the measure the Democratic-controlled House passed in 2021. but it stalled in the 50 -50 Senate.
“We will be ashamed if we don’t use his tragic death to finally pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act,” attorney representing the Nichols family, Ben Crump, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
The Congressional Black Caucus also urged members of Congress to work together to “address the public health epidemic of police violence that disproportionately affects many of our communities,” while calling for a meeting with Biden to push for negotiations on justice system reforms.
The White House has pushed for Congress to pass legislation like the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds, limit arrest warrants and qualified immunity policies, among other measures, and is named after Floyd, whose death in 2020 after a police officer knelt on his neck also sparked public outcry and a push for legislation. But whether Congress takes up the issue, and whether it can make it to Biden’s desk, remains to be seen.
“We need a national conversation about this,” Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, adding that lawmakers like Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Those who spearheaded the 2021 negotiations should “quickly sit down again to see if we can revive that effort.”
“We have to change this for the better,” Durbin said.
But some lawmakers weren’t that hopeful that legislation passed by Congress would make a difference. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio expressed doubt that “any law, any training, any reform” can change the situation.
“I think there are a few things we can look at,” Jordan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “But I think it’s just a difference in philosophy. Democrats always think it’s a new law that will fix something so terrible.”
The calls for legislation come as the Justice Department is conducting a civil rights investigation into Nichols’ death, while all five officers involved in the incident have been fired, charged with second-degree murder and their unit disbanded. , and a sixth officer was withdrawn from service. .