Washington, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- The United States House of Representatives on Thursday approved a police reform bill proposed by the House Democrats in response to the recent deaths of the African-Americans and huge protests against racial discrimination across the country.
The House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, by a 236 to 181 votes, a day after Democrats blocked a Republican backed bill which had proposed changes instead of implementing them .
The bill has been named in honor of African-Amrican George Floyd who was killed at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis in late May.
“I can’t breathe,” Floyd told the arresting officer who had his knee on the back of his neck.
The incident sparked protests across the country.
The opposition over the bill by the Republicans – only three of them voted in favor – and President of the United States Donald Trump, makes it difficult to be approved in the Senate, a necessary step for it to become law.
Among the multiple reforms established by the bill, it bans choke holds as police technique, puts in place national standard for the operation of police departments across the country and, “mandate data collection on police encounters.”
“Exactly a month ago, George Floyd spoke his final words:’I can’t breath,’ and changed the course of history(…) Today with the George Floyd Justices Act, the House is honoring his life and the lives of all killed by police brutalities,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
The bill has been backed by civil rights organizations, mayors, artists such as Rihanna and relatives of African-American people who were killed by the US police.
Republican congressman and Donald Trump, however, have criticized the Democrats led bill for weakening the police force.
“What’s gonna to happen when we have a timid neutered police force?” asked congressman Glenn Grotham. EFE-EPA