Senator Bernie Sanders delivered a speech calling out the GOP’s new policing reform bill that he considers inadequate in tackling the issue of police violence and brutality.
According to Common Dreams, the Republican bill—which was immediately criticized as insufficient by civil rights groups—includes a narrow set of proposals to incentivize police departments to offer de-escalation training, establish a “museum curriculum to educate law enforcement personnel about the history of racism,” and restrict the use of chokeholds by officers.
This new bill comes at a time when nationwide protests are demanding police reform and an end to racial discrimination and violence.
Sanders urges the Senate to see this and wants them to pass legislation that would abolish qualified immunity for law enforcement, would ban the police use of facial recognition technology, and would end the use of military equipment for local police departments.
The GOP measure, The JUSTICE ACT, does not cover qualified immunity and the White House has openly announced its opposition to abolishing it. Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine giving officers protections (immunity) from civil lawsuits.
“Now is not the time to think small or respond with superficial, bureaucratic proposals. Now is not the time for more studies. Now is the time to hold racist and corrupt police officers and police departments accountable for their actions,” Sanders says not he Senate floor.