Speed Reads

police reform

George Floyd police reform bill stalls in Senate over qualified immunity

On the first anniversary of George Floyd's death, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) highlighted the main hurdle stalling the Senate passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act — qualified immunity. President Biden had given Congress a suggested deadline of May 25 to pass the legislation, reports CNBC.

"Qualified immunity is something I strongly believe should not be there," Booker told CBS News on Tuesday. As one of the bill's lead negotiators, the senator added he expects such protections for officers will not stand the test of time, and that he and others are "fighting" to ensure they are not a part of this bill.

The "provision to curb" qualified immunity remains the biggest pain point for Republicans worried that rolling back police protections would lead to "excessive" lawsuits, reports CNBC. Democrats, on the other hand, believe ending or sharply limiting qualified immunity would hold officers more accountable. CNBC writes "it is unclear now what compromise on qualified immunity could win over enough Democratic and Republican votes" for passage.

Despite the hold-up, an eventual agreement seems likely. On Monday, Booker and fellow negotiators Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) issued a joint statement saying they are "optimistic" about making "meaningful change" despite "differences on key issues."

As it stands, the legislation bans chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock search warrants at the federal level, and would create a national database of police misconduct, among other reforms. Read more at CNBC.