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DeFazio: Justice in Policing bill includes ‘long overdue’ reforms

The bill, officially called the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, passed Thursday along hard party line

Posted: Jun 26, 2020 11:30 AM
Updated: Jun 26, 2020 12:37 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Democratic U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio said in an interview Friday that a recently passed bill in the U.S. House includes "long overdue and needed” police reform.

The bill, officially called the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, passed Thursday along hard party lines, with just a few Republicans crossing the aisle to vote in favor.

The bill bans no-knock warrants in federal drug cases, prohibits racial profiling, reforms "qualified immunity" for law enforcement, establishes a national database tracking police misconduct and bans chokeholds, classifying them as a civil rights violation.

“This does not defund the police. It is not anti-policing. It is reforming. It’s going to help both sides in the future. Both our police, who are necessary, and our communities,” DeFazio said.

DeFazio said the bill also will “put federal funding up to help communities do more community policing alternatives to the police, like CAHOOTS in Eugene.”

DeFazio said 20 percent of the 911 calls in Eugene went to CAHOOTS last year, and he wants more social services to be available as alternatives to traditional policing.

“We can’t mandate it, but we can provide federal funding and assistance to get there,” DeFazio said.

The Democratic bill is a facing an uphill battle. It heads to the Republican-controlled Senate next where it has little chance of getting through, but DeFazio said he remains optimistic about its passage.

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