George Floyd protests today: Live news and updates
June 10, 2020 at 10:35 AM EDT
Nadler says nation ‘deserves meaningful change’ as hearing begins
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) urged his colleagues “to act today” to honor the memories of George Floyd and other African Americans who have lost their lives in police custody, as a high-profile hearing got underway Wednesday.
“If there is one thing I have taken away from the tragic events of the last month, it is that the nation demands and deserves meaningful change,” Nadler said, as he pitched a sweeping police reform bill unveiled Monday by Democrats in Congress.
Nadler said the legislative efforts are “not an indictment of all police officers” but that too many abuse their authority.
Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), the top Republican on the panel, said the death of Floyd was “a tragedy.”
“Never should have happened. It’s as wrong as wrong can be,” he said, adding that “it’s time for a real discussion, real debate, real solutions about police treatment of African Americans.”
Jordan also decried calls by some liberal activists to “defund the police.” Those activists have advocated shifting some police funding to social services and other agencies.
Americans “know it is pure insanity to defund the police,” Jordan said.
The hearing will set the stage for a debate later in the month on the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. The legislation crafted by Democrats would ban chokeholds, establish a national database to track police misconduct and prohibit certain no-knock warrants, among other initiatives.
Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd, is among a dozen witnesses scheduled to appear at what is expected to be a lengthy hearing.
As he entered the auditorium where the hearing is being held, Philonise Floyd was asked what he hoped for with his testimony.