Lawyer Ben Crump calls on Congress to pass police reform measure after Tire Nichols’ brutal beating


A day after Memphis police decided to disband the unit tasked with dispatching the five officers charged with second-degree murder in the death of Tire Nichols, the attorney for Nichols’ family called on Congress to pass a blocked legislation aimed at addressing police misconduct.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the Democratic-controlled House in 2021 but failed in the Senate, would limit qualified immunity policies that shield officers accused of misconduct, create a national disciplinary registry supported against officers, would ban chokeholds and limit no-knock warrants, among other measures.

“Shame on us if we don’t use [Nichols’s] tragic death to finally pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act,” Ben Crump said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Videos released Friday night show Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, repeatedly shocked, pepper sprayed, kicked and beaten by Memphis police. Nichols died three days later, prompting a Justice Department investigation and local second-degree murder charges against the five officers, all of whom are black.

It took 22 minutes for the ambulance to arrive after Tire Nichols was beaten by police

Crump said the family hopes Nichols’ death will be a watershed moment to force changes in regulations and laws. Paraphrasing a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., he said, “I can’t stop a man from hating me, but the law can stop a man from killing a man.

The 2021 measure was named in honor of George Floyd, who died in 2020 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knees into Floyd’s neck and back for nearly 9½ minutes , as seen in a video captured by a viewer. The legislation was sponsored by Democrats, including Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, but faced opposition from Republicans in the Senate. Senator Tim Scott (RS.C.) proposed a narrower version of the bill, but that also did not pass.

Excerpt from the book “His name is George Floyd”

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told ABC’s “This Week” that police review efforts should go beyond the stalled bill, but that the adopting would be a good start. He called on Booker and Scott to redouble their efforts to work on the legislation.

“It had a lot of elements that are important,” Durbin said. “It is necessary that we do all these things, but it is not enough. This is the right starting point. We need a national conversation about policing in a responsible, constitutional, and humane way.

But even if a new version reached the Senate, it would have to be taken up by the House, now controlled by Republicans.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said he didn’t think federal law would have made a difference in Nichols’ death.

“I don’t know if there is any law that can stop this evil that we have seen,” Jordan said. He said those regulations would be best left to state and local governments.

“Democrats still think it’s a new law that’s going to fix something this terrible,” Jordan said. “These five individuals had no respect for life.”

He also warned that the conversation around policing in the wake of the high-profile police killings is having a chilling effect on police recruitment at a time when law enforcement across the country is facing shortages of police. personal.

“There was this attack on law enforcement,” Jordan said. “And you don’t get the best of the best.”

Crump, however, called for more accountability in the wake of Nichols’ death.

Communities of color “often have different types of policing than a lot of our white brothers and sisters have in their community,” Crump said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And this video illustrates that it’s this culture that says it doesn’t matter if the police are black, Hispanic or white, that you are somehow allowed to trample the constitutional rights of certain citizens of certain ethnicities in certain communities. ”

Azi Paybarah and Laurie McGinley contributed reporting.


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