Across Texas, lawmakers push to end systemic racism and police brutality by introducing the George Floyd Act, to honor Floyd, and to address policing.
Floyd’s death led to worldwide protests during the summer of 2020. The George Floyd Act will be introduced during the 87th legislative session, which began on January 12, and ends on May 21.
New Upcoming Bills
Representative Senfronia Thompson will be introducing a compilation of several bills during the legislative session that deals with police reform, officer’s discipline records, and civil justice — all under this act. This act is meant to deal with the upgrade of old law to current times.
These new bills are not against police, but rather to ensure that any person that breaks the law, including all law enforcement, are being held to the same standard. When they break the law, they should answer to the law and be accountable, just like every citizen is.
The goal is to strengthen community police relations by ensuring officers who live in the city get extra points in the interview process, as many officers don’t all live in the city they work for. An example being 53% off officers for the city of San Antonio who live in surrounding areas, but not San Antonio.
George Floyd, who grew up in Houston, was killed in the custody of Minneapolis police. The legislation would make sure all use of force is appropriate to the seriousness of the alleged crime.
Changes that the George Floyd Act would bring include:
- The Act would require police officers to change the way they police.
- The act also includes amending and officer’s duties to intervene whenever another officer is violating the law or department policy.
- The act would also have other police officers intervene when another officer is putting someone else at risk of being hurt.
- The act would ban chokeholds.
- The act would have the duty to immediately render aid when someone is injured.
- The act would eliminate qualified immunity, which currently prevents people from suing officers.
- The act would include the arbitration process to give the police chief more power to deal with bad officers, and potentially change the current 180-day deadline to deal with an officer’s discipline.
Texas state legislatures are fighting for their community and have the support of Floyd’s family.
The Texas Legislative Black Caucus hopes Governor Abbott will sign it into law in 2021, which many believe is long overdue.