Democrats draft legislation to overhaul police accountability

The Capitol Hill is seen in Washington D.C., the United States.

Washington, (Samajweekly) As protesters in the US began turning their initial outrage over the death of African-American man George Floyd into demands for police reform and social justice, Democrats have proposed to overhaul legal protections for police and to fight systemic racism in the law enforcement.

With President Donald Trump’s administration proposing no specific policy changes in response to the widespread outrage, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) said they would introduce legislation in the House of Representatives on Monday to make policing more accountable, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We’re in a real moment in our country,” Representative Karen Bass, CBC chairwoman, told CNN on Sunday.

She said the package from House and Senate Democrats will be bolder than any law enforcement changes before.

“It is time for police culture in many departments to change,” she said, voicing her belief that the legislation will make “a major step forward” in that direction.

According to the draft document, the proposed legislation will revise the federal criminal police misconduct statute to make it easier to prosecute officers who are involved in misconduct.

The legislation will also make it easier to prosecute police officers over deadly incidents, to ban police choke holds and to establish a national database to record police misconduct.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a co-author with Bass and the Democratic senators, will convene a hearing on the legislation this week although it is unclear if congressional Republicans will join the move.