Congressional Black Caucus chair says ‘a lot of’ House GOP interest in police reform bill

Greg Nash

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said Sunday there is “a lot of support” among House Republicans for a police reform bill she will be introducing this week. 

“This bill, I believe, is a bold piece of legislation. It’s transformative,” Bass said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

Bass told CNN’s Jake Tapper she’s seen “a lot of interest” and “a lot of support” from her Republican colleagues in the House, without naming any of them. 

The sweeping legislation aims to increase police accountability, including tracking “problematic” officers to limit them from being able to be hired by another jurisdiction. The reform bill will also look at how law enforcement officials are trained and feature provisions designed to eliminate racial profiling, rein in the excessive use of police force and repeal the so-called qualified immunity doctrine for law enforcers, which protects individual officers from lawsuits over actions they perform while on duty.

{mosads}Bass said she received support from a colleague who is a former police officer, as well as from one who has a son who is a police officer. 

“They were appalled by what happened to George Floyd,” she said, referencing the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis police custody that has inspired nationwide protests against police brutality. 

“No profession wants to have bad apples. There also needs to be standards, national standards for policing. We need to look at best practices,” Bass added. 

A similar bill is being introduced in the upper chamber by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Bass said she believes there will be GOP allies in the Senate as well, though added Booker and Harris are “taking the lead” in the upper chamber.

Bass said she does not agree with calls from some of the most progressive members of her party to abolish police departments, but said that communities and cities and states should look at how resources are being spent. 

“I think far more resources need to be spent in communities to address a number of problems,” she said.

Tags CBC Congressional Black Caucus Cory Booker Jake Tapper Karen Bass police brutality Sunday shows

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