House Democrats approved on Wednesday the George Floyd Justice in Police Act in a largely party-line vote.
The bill would prohibit the use of chokeholds by officers, and modify qualified immunity for officers. The legislation passed by a 220-212 margin. Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas was the only Republican to vote in favor of the legislation, while Reps. Jared Golden and Ron Kind were the only Democrats to oppose it. Gooden later tweeted that the yay vote was by accident.
Earlier in the week, the Biden administration announced it would support the bill.
“To make our communities safer, we must begin by rebuilding trust between law enforcement and the people they are entrusted to serve and protect,” the White House said in a statement. “We cannot rebuild that trust if we do not hold police officers accountable for abuses of power and tackle systemic misconduct – and systemic racism – in police departments.”
The House passed a similar version of the bill in 2020, but it was never considered by the then Republican-led US Senate.
Getting the bill through the Senate could be a challenge, even with Democrats in charge. The bill would need 10 Republicans to break the filibuster.
Floyd died in police custody in May 2020 after then Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin held a knee to Floyd’s neck for a prolonged period of time. Chauvin is facing murder charges.