‘Now is time to act’: US Senate debates police reform measures

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – The US Senate held its first police reform hearing following the death of George Floyd. 

“They’re not marching in the streets for watered down proposals,” Senator Kamala Harris, D-California, said. 

Senator Kamala Harris says calls for change in policing are carrying from the streets to the US Senate. 

“Now is time to act. We must take this on, understanding this is a righteous demand. We must act,” Harris said. 

She and other Senate Democrats are pushing for Congress to pass the Justice in Policing Act. 

A package of police reform measures that would change use of force standards, tactics, and the way officers are held accountable.  

“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Attorney General Bill Barr has refused to open a pattern and practice investigation,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said. 

Senator Dianne Feinstein criticized the Trump Administration’s record on police oversight.

She says Democrats reforms will prevent officers with histories of abuse from moving to other jurisdictions. 

“It would require real accountability for police use of force,” Feinstein said. 

While the Senate considers police reform measures, President Trump laid out his vision for what he thinks law enforcement restructuring should look like.

“I’m signing an executive order encouraging police departments nationwide to adopt the highest professional standards,” President Trump said. 

President Trump says his executive order incentivizes law enforcement to improve training.

It’ll ban most chokeholds and maintain a database of police abuse but he says he’s against any defunding measures. 

“When you remove police, you hurt those who have the least the most,” Trump said. 

Senate Democrats say the executive order doesn’t go far enough.

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