House Democrats unveil measure to condemn police brutality

House Democrats unveil measure to condemn police brutality
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Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on Friday unveiled a resolution to condemn police brutality and the excessive use of force against African Americans amid national fervor over recent high-profile deaths of unarmed black people.

The resolution, authored by Democratic Reps. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyPressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressives zero in on another House chairman in primary MORE (Mass.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid MORE (Minn.), Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeState legislatures consider US Capitol's Confederate statues House eyes votes to remove symbols of Confederates from Capitol Nina Turner addresses Biden's search for a running mate MORE (Calif.) and CBC Chairwoman Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump takes on CDC over schools Tim Scott says he's talking with House Democrats about reviving police reform bill Biden-Sanders 'unity task force' rolls out platform recommendations MORE (Calif.) says that the House condemns "all acts of brutality" by law enforcement and calls for "the end of militarized policing practices."

Introduction of the measure comes on the same day that a former Minneapolis police officer was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter over the death of George Floyd, who died during the course of an arrest. The officer was seen on video earlier this week kneeling on Floyd's neck as the man said he couldn't breathe.


The House resolution further calls on the Justice Department to "reinstitute its role in investigating individual instances of police brutality, violence, and racial profiling, and police departments that violate civil rights." It also expresses support for "independent, all-civilian review boards" to investigate police misconduct cases.

“For too long, Black and brown bodies have been profiled, surveilled, policed, lynched, choked, brutalized and murdered at the hands of police officers,” Pressley said in a statement. “There can be no justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or any of the human beings who have been killed by law enforcement, for in a just world, they would still be alive. There must, however, be accountability.”

Omar, whose district includes Minneapolis, added that "the murder of George Floyd in my district is not a one-off event."

"As the People’s House, the House of Representatives must acknowledge these historical injustices and call for a comprehensive solution,” she said.

The resolution is the latest legislative effort by House Democrats to respond to the string of high-profile deaths of African Americans who were unarmed, including two at the hands of police.


Floyd's death has been followed by days of unrest in Minneapolis, where authorities announced Friday they were charging one of the officers involved with third-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers in the case were fired earlier this week.

In Kentucky, 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor was shot and killed inside her apartment in March by police who said they were executing a drug warrant. Protests erupted in Louisville on Thursday over her death, with at least seven people shot.

Those deaths followed the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed after being pursued and confronted by two white men while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood. That shooting occurred in February, but the two men arrested over his death were not taken into custody until this month.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday sent a letter to Attorney General William BarrBill BarrWe haven't seen how low it can go Trump lashes out at Toomey, Romney after Roger Stone clemency criticism GOP senator says Trump commuting Stone was a 'mistake' MORE calling for the Justice Department to investigate all three deaths.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler: Barr dealings with Berman came 'awfully close to bribery' Nadler wins Democratic primary Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November MORE (D-N.Y.) further added that his panel will be "engaging in oversight and considering legislation in the coming weeks" to address racial profiling and police brutality.

"The federal government has a critical role to play in promoting a culture of accountability for all law enforcement organizations, including at the state and local level," Nadler said in a statement.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBattle over reopening schools heats up Pelosi: Trump wearing a mask is 'an admission' that it can stop spread of coronavirus Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to reopening schools MORE (D-Calif.) also pointed to legislation on Thursday from Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonGOP struggles to confront racial issues On The Money: Republicans start bracing for shutdown fight in run-up to election | Mnuchin: White House seriously considering second round of stimulus checks | Labor leaders under pressure on police unions Labor leaders under pressure to oust police unions MORE (D-Fla.) that would create a new federal commission to study the status of African American men around the country as part of a larger effort by the CBC and the Judiciary Committee to make changes in response to the string of high-profile shootings.

"There are all kinds of expressions of concern," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "But not just expressions of concern, plans to take action so that this stops."

Violent demonstrations erupted in Minneapolis late Thursday night as protesters demanded arrests in Floyd's death, and a city police station and businesses were set on fire. Tensions escalated further when President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE tweeted to attack the Minneapolis mayor and warn protesters that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Twitter added a warning label to Trump's tweet stating it violated the company's policies by “glorifying violence.”

Trump later Friday insisted that his original "looting leads to shooting" tweet wasn't meant to incite violence.

“Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night - or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means,” Trump tweeted.

“It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media,” Trump added. “Honor the memory of George Floyd!”