The death of George Floyd at the hands of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin sparked renewed interest in police reform in the United States.
In Wisconsin, State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, a Milwaukee Democrat, introduced Assembly Bill 186. The legislation calls for an end to “qualified immunity” for police officers. Qualified immunity limits officers liability in civil cases.
Nationally, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 (HR1280) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in February.
Among other provisions, the bill works to end racial and religious profiling in law enforcement, bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants at the federal level, limits the transfer of military equipment to local police departments, requires body cameras, calls for more training and allows for more prosecution of officers who violate policies.
HR1280 passed the House 220 to 212 on March 3. It has been received in the Senate, but has yet to be debated or voted on.
In Milwaukee, the Fire and Police Commission is expected to take up a vote that would modify or eliminate the deadly force exemption when it comes to chokeholds. The group was scheduled to vote on this in April but delayed it until their May meeting.