Democrats roll out police reform bill to address systemic racism in law enforcement

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – After nearly two weeks of protests over the death of George Floyd, Democrats in the House and Senate came together to roll out a package of police reforms they say address systemic racism in law enforcement. 

“The world is witnessing the birth of a new movement in our country,” Representative Karen Bass, D-Calif., said.

Democratic lawmakers rolled out a package of police reforms, which Karen Bass, Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus calls historic. 

“It not only holds police accountable and increases transparency, but assists police to change the culture,” Bass said.

The bills address a wide range of issues from police oversight to training to limiting lethal force and outright banning police choke holds.

“We’re here because Black Americans want to stop being killed,” Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said. 

Senator Kamala Harris says these measures are long overdue and will curb systemic racism within law enforcement. 

“When people are marching in the street, it’s because they are fully aware of this issue in America. They’ve had enough,” Harris said. 

Some House Republicans have expressed a willingness to work on these issues, especially the firing of officers with a history of abuse but they say parts of this legislation go too far.

“Basically, we should call this hashtag sue a cop,” Representative Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., said. 

Republican Doug LaMalfa says the bill would strip police officers of legal immunity, leaving every officer vulnerable to lawsuits and danger.

“There’s a difference between the type of force officers are trained to properly use, versus a couple of bad apples,” LaMalfa said. 

“That would result certainly in police pulling back, which is not advisable,” Kayleigh McEnany said. 

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says the administration has concerns about much in the Democrats’ bill but she says the president is considering some police reforms. 

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