From protests to policy: House leaders work on police reform measures

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers in Washington from both parties are working on a package of bills that address police reform measures. 

Many want to continue the momentum from nationwide protests and use it to push better policy. 

House Democrats say the nation’s protesters are demanding that calls for reform be put into action. 

“These protests are about bringing change,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said. 

Swalwell says House Democrats will introduce a package of bills to address a wide range of police reforms. 

“Legislation that would end racial profiling, that would require body cameras, that would require departments to have a force that looks like the communities they patrol,” he said. 

Swalwell says the House should take its cue from Congressional Black Caucus leaders like Barabara Lee. 

“We have to repair the damage of what has taken place as it relates to African Americans,” Rep. Barabara Lee (D-Calif.) said. 

Congresswoman Lee says the first step is for America to confront it’s legacy of racism. 

She established a Racial Hearing Committee to do that.  

“Many of the policies, programs and vestiges really relate directly to issues of the past. So we have to tell the truth,” Lee said. 

Lee blames past failures to pass police reform laws on a lack of political will. 

“We could easily find common ground on both sides,” Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said. 

House Leader McCarthy called George Floyd’s death an atrocity and says his party is ready to come to the negotiating table to take on police reform measures. 

“Essential is to make sure training, the right training is out there,” McCarthy said. 

McCarthy says the House should examine why officers with repeated complaints are protected from losing their jobs.

“How difficult is it to remove a bad officer?” McCarthy said. 

McCarthy says he supports change, but he says it’s important not to judge all law enforcement by the actions of a few.

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