House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

by | Mar 4, 2021 | Politics, Social Justice

Democrats in the U.S. House voted to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act on Wednesday. 

The legislation includes reform for qualified immunity, a ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants, a grant program for state attorney generals to investigate police misconduct, and a requirement for police to use body cameras.

The 220-212 vote fell mostly on party lines, with only one Republican voting for the police reform bill — Rep. Lance Gooden of Dallas, who said it was an accident in a now-deleted tweet. 

Democrats passed the same bill last year, but the legislation was stalled in the Republican-led Senate. Democrats will still need at least 10 Republican votes to pass the bill with a two-thirds majority in the Senate. 

“The Justice in Policing Act demands accountability, transparency, and improved police training and practices,” said Rep. Al Green of Houston, a cosponsor of the bill. “However, there is much more work to be done to uproot the systemically racist conditions that have allowed societal problems such as police brutality to thrive for far too long.”

Democrats and members of the Congressional Black Caucus held a press conference prior to the bill’s passage. 

“We do this in their name and the names of all the families who have lost loved ones, violently, without charges, even allegations, that fell to their death at the hands of those who were to serve and protect,” said Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee of the Floyd family and others. 

Lee said the bill was not an anti-police bill, but a bill against police misconduct.

“It doesn’t diminish any officer’s ability to serve,” Lee said of the bill’s reforms to qualified immunity, or blanket liability protection to officers accused of wrongdoing “In fact, it enhances the ability to serve because then they begin to look at those they are protecting in an equal manner that each of them will have a right to go into court.” 

“It is a civil rights law of policing,” Lee said. “With our vote today, we’re saying Black lives matter, we’re saying that America matters and we’re making a difference.” 

Photo: MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at

Are you tired of Texas Republicans pushing big lies and trying to steal your vote? So are we, that’s why we’re fighting back against the right-wing lie machine. Our commitment to ethical, fact-based journalism is vital to our democracy, and we can’t do it without you. Consider donating today to help us stay in this fight.

Continue Reading

Op-Ed: Lessons From A Democratic Leader in Harris County 

Op-Ed: Lessons From A Democratic Leader in Harris County 

Since my last op-ed on the Harris County Democratic Party went viral many are asking who am I. Most know me through my role as President of Meyerland Area Democrats and the many achievements we made in changing history in Harris County. But do you know who I am as a...

Texas Legislative Round-Up: Week Ten

Texas Legislative Round-Up: Week Ten

Welcome to the Texas Legislative Round-up! We are here to break down the latest news from the Texas Legislative session in Austin. Every week, we’ll give you the honest take on the news that impacts you – without pretending it doesn’t. Week in Review “Dr. Hotze I know...

The Houston ISD Takeover Explained

The Houston ISD Takeover Explained

On Wednesday, the Texas Education Agency officially announced they were taking over Houston ISD. The threat had been omnipresent for years, but in the past few weeks the drumbeat of a potential takeover of the state’s largest school district became deafening. The TEA...