Vice President Kamala Harris called for passage of police reform legislation at Tire Nichols’ funeral.
As a Senator, she co-authored a bill mirroring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 passed by the House.
“We shouldn’t delay. And we won’t be denied,” he said. “It’s not negotiable.”
At Tire Nichols’ funeral, Vice President Kamala Harris set out her terms for passing a languid police reform package she collaborated on while still in the Senate: “It’s not negotiable.”
Harris told mourners Wednesday that “Tyre Nichols would be here with us today” if police pursued public safety. Nichols died earlier this month after being beaten by five black police officers in Memphis, Tennessee.
“Didn’t he also have a right to be safe?”
During her time as a Senator from California, Harris co-authored legislation with Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey that mirrored the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 passed by the House. The bill was called for the 46-year-old Black man who was murdered by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020
The broad package is designed to strengthen accountability and transparency within the law enforcement community by relaxing skilled immunity protections that typically protect police officers from prosecution, prohibiting racial profiling, and creating, among others things, a record of police misconduct.
“We are asking Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act,” he said as he concluded his remarks to all the mourners in the pews of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, adding emphatically that “Joe Biden will sign it.”
“We shouldn’t delay. And we won’t be denied,” Harris said, to thunderous applause. “It’s not negotiable.”
Mourners could be heard repeating “non-negotiable”.
Speaking directly to Nichols’ mother and stepfather, she called them “extraordinary.”
“We have a mother and father mourning the life of a young man who should be here today,” he said.
Biden and Harris both spoke to Nichols’ mother and stepfather to offer support, and Biden pledged to continue pushing Congress to pass the bill, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.
Biden will meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday to strategize moving forward on police reform.
Last year, Biden issued an executive order designed to strengthen the accountability and transparency of law enforcement actions. But Jean-Pierre said the White House sees legislative action as the next step.
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