The lower house of the United States, under Democratic control, approved Thursday a reform of police practices that responds to the recent murders of African-Americans and the massive racial protests that have shaken the country.
The bill passed with 236 votes in favor and 181 against the day after Democrats blocked another measure in the Senate, this one promoted by the Republicans, which was limited to proposing changes, instead of implementing them.
The reform approved this Thursday in the Lower House was named after George Floyd in honor of the African American killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who suffocated him with a knee for almost 10 minutes in late May, a death that ignited protests across the country.
Republican opposition to the project (only three of them voted in favor) and especially that expressed by US President Donald Trump, makes it very difficult for the measure to receive the green light from the Senate, necessary to become law.
Among the multiple reforms that the project establishes is the prohibition of suffocation as a police technique, eliminates the legal impunity that agents have, making it easier to bring them to trial and creating a national database on abuse.
“Exactly a month ago, George Floyd spoke his last words: ‘I can’t breathe,’ changing the course of history. The House of Representatives today honors his life and that of all those killed by police brutality,” said the president of the camera, Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
The project has the support of civil rights organizations, mayors, artists like Rihanna, and relatives of African-Americans killed by police.
Republican congressmen and Trump himself, however, have criticized that the Democratic bill “weakens the police.”
“What is going to happen when we have a timid and neutralized police force?” Asked Congressman Glenn Grothman.