Rush Statement Marking One Year Since George Floyd's Murder

May 25, 2021
Press Release

CHICAGO — Today, marking one year since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), co-founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, released the following statement:

“George Floyd’s gruesome murder at the hands — or rather, the knee — of a heartless police officer shocked our nation’s conscience and sparked a historic wave of activism in righteous defense of Black lives, reminiscent of the way that Emmett Till’s lynching sent shockwaves through the country and galvanized a generation of civil rights leaders more than half a century ago.  On this solemn anniversary, we mourn the death of George Floyd and countless other Black men killed at the hands of police, and we look forward, with hope and determination, to passing comprehensive legislation that will reform the broken institution of policing in this nation.”

On April 20, 2021, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, becoming the first white officer in Minnesota to be convicted for the murder of a Black person.

Congressman Rush is an original cosponsor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 (H.R. 1280), which passed the House of Representatives on March 3, 2021.  Among other reforms, the legislation would:

  • Make it easier for the federal government to successfully prosecute police misconduct cases.
  • Prevent dangerous officers from moving from one department to another to avoid accountability by establishing a national database of civilian police encounters, including the use of force and traffic stops, and require the collection, analysis, and release of such data to track and hold bad officers accountable.
  • Ban the use of chokeholds, which killed George Floyd, Eric Garner, and countless others.
  • Ban the use of no-knock warrants.
  • Require officers to intervene to prevent abuse.
  • Require national standards for police departments and officers.
  • Restrict police access to weaponry designed specifically for the military.
  • Invest in community-based services and programs to avoid interactions with the criminal legal system.
  • Create alternatives to police responses to behavioral health issues. 
  • Help communities reimagine policing with public safety innovation grants.

 

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