Rep. Bass Says Police Reform Will Soon Be Law

Rep. Karen Bass breaks down what the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is and why she’s confident that it will pass this month. » Subscribe to NowThis: http://go.nowth.is/News_Subscribe » Sign up for our newsletter KnowThis to get the biggest stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox: https://go.nowth.is/KnowThis Qualified immunity, which protects officers accused of abuse or misconduct from civil suits, has been a key point of contention between Democrats and Republicans. In addition to limiting qualified immunity, the bill would lower barriers to convict officers accused of misconduct in a federal prosecution. Rep. Karen Bass says she has hope for substantive change for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. For more race and politics news, subscribe to NowThis News. #KarenBass #GeorgeFloyd #PoliceReform #Politics #News #NowThis This video "Rep. Bass Says Police Reform Will Soon Be Law", first appeared on https://nowthisnews.com/.

Video Transcript

KAREN BASS: This bill will pass. This bill will make it to President Biden's desk.

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The first part of the bill deals with accountability, and the second part of the bill is about raising the standards of policing. In the United States, we have 18,000 police departments and 18,000 ways policing is handled in our communities. And it's about time that there be national standards, national protocols, national accreditation.

And then the other part of the bill deals with grants to communities to begin to re-envision policing, because what has happened in our country over the last few decades is that we've cut funding in so many different ways on our safety net, and then when communities have problems, we expect the police to solve the problems. And I don't believe police officers go into law enforcement because they want to deal with addiction and mental health and domestic violence and problems that really are community-based, and do not necessarily need law enforcement solutions.

I believe that we need to have policing that is more accountable to communities, and that communities do not need to see time and time again acts take place and no one held accountable.

ZINHLE ESSAMUAH: Senator Mitch McConnell has signaled specifically what his hesitation is, saying, for example, that removing qualified immunity will mean no one will enter law enforcement for a career. Have you seen evidence of that?

KAREN BASS: No, and I disagree with that.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ZINHLE ESSAMUAH: Are you prepared to give that up to see action and compromise?

KAREN BASS: I'm not prepared to give that up, and giving it up is not at the center of our discussion. Police departments around the country-- not all of them, but many of them-- are having trouble recruiting right now. I personally believe it's because of the image of policing in the United States and, frankly, around the world. When you see video after video of brutality, then-- and you have widespread disdain, why would anybody want to go into a profession like that now? So my focus is, when we reform and uplift the profession, people will join. I do not believe it is all about qualified immunity.

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When I went to Mr. Floyd's memorial service in Houston, I realized the first time I started working on this issue was the year he was born. And that was 47 years ago. So you know, the fact that we're able to talk about this issue, that we actually are believed, I mean, this has been going on ever since Black people arrived here. But up until George Floyd's torture, people just didn't believe it was the case. People believed that Black people were exaggerating or there must have been a reason, the cop couldn't have possibly just killed someone. So you know, the awareness that happened because of his murder, and the brutality of it, and the millions of people around the world that protested it, you know, that's-- all of that is the fuel I need to get this across the finish line.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

You have to take a first step. And I know that the day the president signs the bill, the next day, I'll be ready to go back at it again because so much more does need to be done. And you can't do everything in one bill. This bill is pretty comprehensive, but it's still not enough.