Democrats unveil police reform bill after kneeling in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democratic lawmakers take a knee to observe a moment of silence on Capitol Hill for George Floyd and other victims of police brutality June
(Image credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Democrats have officially unveiled their new police reform bill, referring to it as a "first step."

Democratic leaders on Monday announced the Justice in Policing Act, which would ban no-knock warrants in drug cases and chokeholds as well as create a national registry of police misconduct among other measures, two weeks after George Floyd's killing in police custody set off a wave of protests throughout the country.

"True justice can only be achieved with full, comprehensive action," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. "That's what we are doing today. This is a first step. There is more to come."

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Prior to the press conference, Democrats kneeled in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, which is how long a criminal complaint says former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck.

Pelosi called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to "swiftly" take up the bill once it's passed by the House, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed Democrats in the Senate will "fight like hell to make this a reality."

"Democrats will not let this go away, and we will not rest until we achieve real reforms," Schumer said. "Leader McConnell, let's have the debate. Not just on TV and Twitter, but on the floor of the United States Senate."

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in the press conference said "we're here because black Americans want to stop being killed," while House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said, "The killing must stop. The carnage must end." Brendan Morrow

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.