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Police reform bill would create a national registry on misconduct

Democrats say the bill offers a "transformative vision" of policing in the US.

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House and Senate Democrats introduce the Justice in Policing Act. 

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democratic lawmakers unveiled sweeping legislation on police reform that aims to increase transparency and accountability in law enforcement. The bill comes amid nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis who died after a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

"The world is witnessing the birth of a new movement in our country," said Rep. Karen Bass, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, at a press conference introducing the bill. "A profession where you have the power to kill should be a profession where you have highly trained officers accountable to the public."

The proposed legislation, known as the Justice In Policing Act of 2020, calls for a national police misconduct registry that keeps track of misconduct complaints, discipline records and termination records. During the press briefing, Sen. Cory Booker said this would close a loophole that allows problematic officers fired in one town to be hired in another. 

The legislation would also require local police to turn over data on use of force to the Department of Justice, including information on race, gender, disability, religion and age. It would also prohibit police from using chokeholds and ban some no-knock warrants. 

Protests continue across the US following Floyd's death on May 25, with Americans coming together to condemn acts of racial discrimination and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Many tech companies, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, have stated their support for the protesters and pledged funds to groups centered on civil rights and black communities.

Black Lives Matter. Visit blacklivesmatter.carrd.co to learn how to donate, sign petitions and protest safely.