May 25, 2021, marks one year since the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin. The tragic and horrific event underscored the prevalence of systemic racism in law enforcement agencies nationwide, and set in motion a movement to stand against all forms of racism and violence in the name of Black lives. In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic where intimate physical interaction created the risk of contracting COVID-19, protesters called for justice, confronting the hard reality that incidents of police brutality, which have disproportionately resulted in the injuries and deaths of people of color, persisted across the nation.
A year later, much work has been done at the local and Federal levels to reimagine public safety and more strategically reinvest in community engagement and safety. To mark this occasion, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to support H.R. 1280 (Bass) – the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act of 2021.
“It has been one year, to the day, since George Floyd was murdered at the hands of a Minnesota police officer while his fellow officers stood by. A year later, although our friends and neighbors no longer convene on the streets to collectively voice our discontent, we now convene around the halls of government, ready to support new policy that meaningfully, strategically and pointedly dismantles systemic racism,” said Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, who co-introduced the resolution. “As a City, we must continue to raise our voice in support of efforts to end the senseless violence toward people of color and, in particular, African Americans, at the hands of law enforcement. The City’s support for H.R. 1280—the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act of 2021—is an opportunity to do just that. And, I urge Congress to act and pass this legislation. It simply cannot wait. ”
“Today is a day that will forever be etched into the fabric of world history as the day George Floyd’s life was stolen from him, sparking an outrage that spread far and wide across the globe in the name of justice, accountability and police reform,” said Councilman Curren Price, who co-authored the resolution. “In order for real change to occur, we must gather our collective voices together and find answers. The first of many steps we are taking in Los Angeles is through the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, which will offer a solid solution to policing to relieve some of the devastation felt in communities of color.”
“George’s Floyd’s life was stolen one year ago and his murder catalyzed a national movement demanding transparency and accountability for police officers,” said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “California is recovering from the pandemic and will not return to the status quo. We continue to work on local solutions while waiting for the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act to be signed into law.”
The George Floyd Justice In Policing Act of 2021, introduced by Representative Karen Bass, aims to address a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability, including increasing accountability for law enforcement misconduct, restricting the use of certain policing practices (such as no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and carotid holds), enhancing transparency and data collection, and establishing best practices and training requirements.
“I want to thank Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas and the Los Angeles City Council for supporting this important piece of legislation. Many of my friends on the Council remember the pain of not getting national reforms enacted after Rodney King was beaten thirty years ago. I hope that acting this time on the heels of the torturous murder of George Floyd, we can enact real, substantive change to our policing system. Thank you again for acting in support of this important piece of legislation,” said Rep. Karen Bass, author of HR 1280 – the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act of 2021.