WASHINGTON — Although congressional negotiators remain optimistic about reaching agreement on a police-reform bill in the coming weeks, many of the same issues that divided Democrats and Republicans last summer when they first tried to pass policing reform after George Floyd’s murder remain as sticking points.
Lawmakers — working mostly behind closed doors — hope the conviction last week of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin could provide the tipping point after decades of failed attempts to overhaul policing tactics.
As angry crowds filled the streets last summer to protest Floyd’s killing, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House by a 236-181 vote. It would have banned chokeholds, ended “qualified immunity” for law enforcement officers and created national standards for police training. Republicans argued it went too far to federalize policing decisions normally left to states and local jurisdictions.