MILWAUKEE — House Democrats have approved the George Floyd Justice in Police Act, and Rep. Gwen Moore of Milwaukee threw her full support behind the legislation.
The bill would prohibit the use of chokeholds by police officers, and modify qualified immunity for police. The legislation passed by a 220-212 margin.
Rep. Moore said in a statement after the House passed the act that the legislation would "take critical steps to create the needed change in policing that millions, including in Milwaukee, have called for."
The representative highlighted the bill's reforms on:
- No-knock warrants and the use of chokeholds;
- Calls for an end to racial profiling;
- Supports more bias and other training for police;
- Infuses transparency, fairness and accountability in policing;
- Encourages de-escalation training for police.
In particular, on the de-escalation training for police, Moore said she has championed such reform for years after she promised Dontre Hamilton’s mother that "I would use my power to fight for reform." Hamilton was shot and killed by Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney in Red Arrow Park in 2014. The officer faced no charges, but he was fired from the department.
The House passed a similar version of the bill in 2020, but it was never considered by the then Republican-led U.S. Senate. And getting the bill through the Senate could be a challenge, even with Democrats in charge. The bill will need 10 Republicans to break the filibuster.
But Moore sounded hopeful in her statement Wednesday evening, writing that "there is a renewed sense of hope that this critical legislation will advance and reach President Biden’s desk."
Floyd died in police custody in May 2020 after then Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin held a knee to Floyd’s neck for a prolonged period of time. Chauvin is facing murder charges.