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House passes sweeping police overhaul after Floyd’s death

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Washington — The House approved a far-reaching police overhaul from Democrats on Thursday, a vote heavy with emotion and symbolism as a divided Congress …
Washington — The House approved a far-reaching police overhaul from Democrats on Thursday, a vote heavy with emotion and symbolism as a divided Congress struggles to address the global outcry over the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gathered with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on the Capitol steps, challenging opponents not to allow the deaths to have been in vain or the outpouring of public support for changes to go unmatched. But the collapse of a Senate Republican bill leaves final legislation in doubt.
“Exactly one month ago, George Floyd spoke his final words — ‘I can’t breathe’ — and changed the course of history,” Pelosi said.
She said the Senate faces a choice “to honor George Floyd’s life or to do nothing.”
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is perhaps the most ambitious set of proposed changes to police procedures and accountability in decades. Backed by the nation’s leading civil rights groups, it aims to match the moment of demonstrations that filled streets across the nation. It has almost zero chance of becoming law.
U. S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, Mich., voted for the legislation while saying he disagrees with the provision to limit qualified immunity for police because it would hinder the ability to train and recruit good officers.
He called on his colleagues to return to the table to negotiate a bipartisan product for the president to sign.
”Systemic racism is all too real for people of color in nearly every facet of our society, including the criminal justice system. Those who cannot acknowledge this injustice are part of the problem. I am committed to the solutions,” Upton said in a statement.
“We cannot allow politics to consume this moment. We cannot retreat to our corners, send tweets attacking each other, and let yet another historic opportunity for meaningful change pass without action.”
On the eve of the vote, President Donald Trump’s administration said he would veto the bill. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also said it would not pass the Republican-held chamber.

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