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Congress begins to discuss nationwide police reforms

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ One day after the funeral and burial of George Floyd in Houston, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. got down to business on the nationwide issue of police brutality against African Americans.

Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody after a police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes.  The officer and three others have been charged with Floyd’s murder. The incident was caught on video and has sparked worldwide protests over racial injustice and police brutality.

Philonise Floyd, George’s brother, asked lawmakers to ensure that his brother’s death won’t be in vain.

“I am here to ask you, make it stop, stop the pain,” he said. “He didn’t deserve to die over $20. I’m asking you, is that what a black man is worth?”

Philonise said enough is enough and demanded Congress make reforms to law enforcement agencies.

“Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely,” Philonise said.

House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, said the nation is calling out for meaningful change.

“Demanding a fundamental change in the culture of law enforcement and meaningful accountability for officers who commit misconduct,” Nadler said. “Today, we answer their call.”

Democrats said the “Justice In Policing Act” could meet the moment of confronting police brutality in America.

“It will criminalize lynching, it’ll end the militarization of local police departments,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, said.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo agrees and said that reform is long overdue.

“No denying that changes in policing must be made,” Acevedo said.

Democrats and Republicans both agree that Congress needs to make changes, but they disagree on what those changes should be.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said the Democrats bill would gut the nation’s police departments.

“Now they’re talking about abolishing the police, this is wrong and the American people know it’s wrong,” Jordan said.

Jordan said the streets will be in chaos if lawmakers take that route, but both sides said they’re committed to reforms that bring Floyd justice.

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