Graham announces hearing on police use of force after George Floyd killing
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced Friday his panel will hold a hearing on police use of force after the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
Graham said in a statement he’d spoken with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the committee’s ranking member, about the killing, which has resulted in days of protests and charges against one of the officers involved.
“Both of us are appalled at what we saw and believe it is important to have a hearing as soon as possible as to how to combat this outrage,” Graham said. “The Committee intends to call a wide variety of witnesses on the topics of better policing, addressing racial discrimination regarding the use of force, as well as building stronger bonds between communities and police.”
“We intend to shine a bright light on the problems associated with Mr. Floyd’s death, with the goal of finding a better way forward for our nation,” he added.
The announcement comes amid growing furor after video surfaced of a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck during the arrest. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was heard pleading for help and saying he couldn’t breathe for several minutes before dying.
All four officers involved in the incident have been fired, and Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter Friday. The murder charge carries a potential prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Unrest over the killing has erupted in three consecutive nights of protests in Minneapolis. A number of stores were looted, and the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd precinct building was set ablaze.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has issued a citywide curfew for Friday evening.
Floyd’s killing has reignited a national conversation on the relationship between police officers and the citizens of color whom they serve, with protests popping up from coast to coast.