Lawmakers are considering more than 50 bills in response to the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia on Tuesday, Joe Biden expressed support for proposals to prevent cops from using chokeholds against perpetrators, ban the transfer of military weapons to police, and establish federal standards for the use of force by police.
He has vowed to create a commission for police oversight during his first 100 days if elected president.
The words “I can’t breathe” are a “wake-up call for our nation,” said Biden, adding that the abuses suffered by Mr. Floyd have affected “communities that have had a knee on their neck for a long time.”
In my opinion, banning chokeholds is a misguided response to Mr. Floyd’s death. Floyd was a victim of racial profiling, and that is what Congress should focus on if it decides to pursue police reform legislation. Another major issue is crowd control – what level of protest (if any) justifies the use of tear gas and other dangerous munitions against civilians?
As I wrote in my article about Antifa, it appears that much of the violence that has occurred during the George Floyd protests has been caused not by the protestors, but by extremists using the protests as an excuse to cause chaos.
While there is some degree of bipartisan support in Congress to review what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) described as the “egregious wrongs” surrounding Mr. Floyd’s death, the issue is complicated by the fact that states typically have control over policing techniques.
“It is well past time that we also unite on the side of peace in our streets and peace in our communities,” said McConnell. “We need to unite against these violent rioters who seek only to aggrandize themselves and further damage a nation that needs healing.”
According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the chamber will hold a hearing on police use of force on June 16th. “We intend to shine a bright light on the problems associated with Mr. Floyd’s death, with the goal of finding a better way forward for our nation,” said Graham.
Author’s Note: The proposal to ban chokeholds is particularly concerning to me, as it risks limiting what police can do when facing real criminals.
Imagine a situation where a cop is so concerned with where he can put his hands that he is overtaken, perhaps killed, by a violent criminal. As I mentioned above, police reform must focus on racial profiling and crowd control if we are to correct the wrongs suffered by Floyd and so many others.
Editor’s Note: Biden’s lack of real world exposure is showing again. Attempting to micro-manage a policeman’s actions while he handles life-threatening situations is utter foolishness. Mitch is correct, anything along the lines of Biden’s suggestions will have the opposite of the desired effect.