Congress must pass George Floyd’s policing reform bill

Ben Crump, the attorney for the family of Tyre Nichols, called on Congress to pass federal police reform legislation in the wake of the 29-year-old’s death.

“Shame on us if we don’t use his tragic death to finally get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed,” Crump, who also leads the Floyd family legal team, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We told President Biden that when he talked to us.”

Crump placed the onus on Biden to spark a renewed push for policing reform, saying the president should “marshal the United States Senate” and “try to get the House to reengage.”

Video released late Friday showed officers in Memphis, Tenn., beating, kicking and punching Nichols after a traffic stop. Nichols died three days later. Five officers have been charged with second-degree murder in his death.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was introduced in 2021 after Floyd’s death in Minnesota at the hands of police. It passed the House under Democratic control, but talks for a compromise in the Senate collapsed.

Crump on Sunday emphasized the fact that federal leaders have not acted on sweeping police reform for decades, even as cases of violent deaths at the hand of law enforcement have continued to emerge.

“It didn’t happen with Rodney King, it didn’t happen with Michael Brown in Ferguson and it didn’t happen with George Floyd,” Crump said. “How many of these tragedies did we have to see on video before we said we had a problem, America?”

The White House last week called for policing reform legislation, but Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate, and Republicans hold a slight majority in the House, dimming the chances of passing policing reform in this Congress.

Updated at 10:16 am

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