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Congressional leaders are still hammering out the details of a bipartisan police reform bill

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press event ahead of vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 on the East Front House Steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
House Democrats gather ahead of vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Washington Reuters
  • Congressional leaders are still working out the exact details of major police reform legislation.

  • Congress missed a deadline to pass a bill by the May 25 anniversary of George Floyd's murder.

  • Senators from both parties told Politico and Punchbowl that they're making steady progress.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Congressional leaders are still working out the details of major law enforcement reform legislation a year after the murder of George Floyd reinvigorated a nationwide push to hold police accountable for the deaths of Black Americans.

Congress officially missed a deadline set by President Joe Biden to pass a police reform bill to send to his desk by the anniversary of Floyd's death on Tuesday, May 25.

The House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act first in June 2020 and then again in March 2021 by a party-line vote of 220-212.

The bill has yet to be taken up in the US Senate, which was controlled by Republicans when the bill first passed in 2020, and lawmakers are negotiating behind the scenes to make the bill palatable to GOP Senators. TheGrio reported on Monday that Republicans are seeking the support of law enforcement on the bill.

Key Senators from both parties working on police reform legislation told Politico and Punchbowl News that they're slowly but surely making progress and finding common ground on key matters - but that a final bill that could be passed by both chambers of Congress is still a ways off.

"I would be shocked if anything happened as soon as tomorrow. I was briefed as soon as last week," Democratic Dick Durbin, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Politico, adding: "It felt good - there was a conversation on the floor with Cory and Tim and Lindsey Graham and myself. I felt good about it. But no sooner did the staff get together that they found some areas where they still need work."

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the lead Senate Republican working on police reform issues, told reporters "we had good progress over the weekend, I thought. I think we can see the end of the tunnel," according to Punchbowl, adding that he sees "a framework" but not a final bill in the next week.

Scott reiterated to reporters on Tuesday that "we have a long way to go still" but the bill is "starting to take form."

His state Republican colleague, Sen. Lindsey Graham, is also involved in the Senate negotiations, along with Democratic Sen. Cory Booker and House Rep. Barbara Lee

Read more: Black Lives Matter activists aimed to defund the police. But some feel Congress is sidelining them in the push to pass police reform.

The far-ranging legislation includes prohibitions on racial profiling, bans on choke holds and no-knock warrants, a requirement for all federal officers to wear body cameras, ending qualified immunity for police, limiting the use of military-grade equipment, enacting new training standards, and giving the Department of Justice more power to investigate police misconduct.

In the Senate, the bill would need at least 10 Republican supporters to attain the 60 votes required to surpass the filibuster.

Insider's Camila DeChalus reported many Black Lives Matter and racial justice activists feel sidelined, and that the congressional leaders who initially made big promises on police reform are now giving them the cold shoulder and excluding them from talks on legislation.

Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis by former officer Derek Chauvin, who held his knee of Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. A jury convicted Chauvin of Floyd's murder on April 20. The other officers charged in connection with Floyd's death haven't faced trial yet.

Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with the Floyd family in Washington to mark the anniversary on Tuesday afternoon.

"Following the murder of George Floyd, which today we observe the one-year - one-year commemoration of, people around the world flooded the streets for days and weeks, millions of people," Pelosi said on Capitol Hill after meeting the family.

Referencing Floyd's daughter, Pelosi added: "Gianna said, 'My daddy will change the world.' And it means her prediction is coming true. And it's coming true because so many people who've worked so hard for decades to make it come true."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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