State of the Union is key chance to push police reform, Black caucus says : NPR

Members of the Black Congressional Caucus meet with President Biden and Vice President Harris in the Oval Office on February 2 to discuss police reform.

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Members of the Black Congressional Caucus meet with President Biden and Vice President Harris in the Oval Office on February 2 to discuss police reform.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Members of the Black Caucus Congress are calling on President Biden to use the power of the bully podium to push for police reform after the fatal beating Nichols Tirea 29-year-old black father, at the hands of the Memphis police.

“It could be Tire Nichols yesterday, but it could be any of us today and tomorrow,” CBC President Steven Horsford, D-Nev., said at a news conference Tuesday morning. precede the Federal State.

Nichols died in hospital three days after being accused of reckless driving by police. The five officers who beat Nichols were prosecuted and imprisoned with charges including second-degree murder. The other officers were duty free pending investigation.

“He’s a son. He’s a father. He’s a man, a black man who loves skateboarding, photography and sunsets. We all want to be safe, ‘ said Horsford. “No one is more concerned with public safety than those affected every day by fear, anxiety, trauma and yes, even loss, because of the encounters we’ve all faced. as a Negro in America.”

The Nevada Democrat referred to a meeting last week he and his colleagues had with Biden and Vice President Harris to discuss police reform.

“Legislative action, executive action and community-based solutions – that’s what we’re calling for,” he told reporters. “That’s what we talked to the president and vice president. That’s what we expect to hear at the State of the Union address tonight.”

Horsford before tell NPR that while Congress struggles to pass legislation in a divided government, he believes Biden himself has an important role to play.

“I believe the president has the ability to bring us together in a very unique way,” he said, pointing to the president’s role in passed gun safety laws and bipartisan infrastructure legislation. “We hope the president will be involved in helping us reach a bipartisan consensus on comprehensive police accountability and judicial reform.”

Representative Shontel Brown, D-Ohio, said Biden’s speech “needs to address the needless deaths of innocents at the hands of those who have sworn to protect and serve us.”

“The epidemic of American police brutality is unsustainable, and police reform renewed through community-based solutions should be one of our president’s top priorities for every mother. , to every father, son, daughter and brother in our nation who are grieving the loss of their loved ones at the hands of those who swore to protect us. ,” she said at Tuesday’s press conference.

Brown invited Samaria Rice to be her guest at the State of the Union. rice 12 year old son Tamir was killed by police in Cleveland in 2014.

Calling for the revival of the Justice in Policy Act of George Floyd

President Biden has called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Police Justice Act, which previously passed in the House but faced stiff opposition from Republicans in the Senate.

The law sought to ban chokeholds and bans in certain cases, mandate data collection on police encounters, and change qualified immunity for law enforcement.

Bipartisan negotiations on the law between the House of Representatives at that time. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and Sens. Cory Booker, DN.J., and Tim Scott, RS.C, failed after months of negotiations in 2021.

Those negotiations will now be even tougher with the Republican-led House and narrowly divided Senate.

However, Biden recently said he spoke with Nichols’ mother and pledged to take “the case before Congress” to pass that legislation.

“I can only do so much at the federal level,” he told reporters. The White House said Biden plans to raise the issue in a speech Tuesday night.

RowVaughn Wells, mother of Tire Nichols, will attend the speech as a guest of the White House.

“Today I hope that we can convince Congress that we need to pass this bill because this should never happen,” she said.

“We really need to do something about this,” she said. “We cannot let another child die at the hands of police officers.”


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