George Floyd’s Murderer Sentenced To 22.5 Years In Prison

These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP
These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP

 

Former policeman Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison on Friday for the murder of African American George Floyd, the killing that sparked America’s biggest demonstrations for racial justice in decades.

The white, 45-year-old Chauvin gave his “condolences” to the Floyd family in a Minneapolis court before Judge Peter Cahill handed down a lesser sentence than the 30 years the prosecution had sought.

“The sentence is not based on emotion or sympathy,” said Cahill during a tense hearing in which the court watched a recorded message by Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter and heard from Chauvin’s mother.

He added that it had not been based “on public opinion” either but on the law and the facts specific to the case, as he acknowledged the “deep and tremendous pain” the case had caused, particularly to the Floyd family.

Their lawyer called the sentencing a “historic” step towards racial reconciliation in the United States.

“(It) brings the Floyd family and our nation one step closer to healing by delivering closure and accountability,” lawyer Ben Crump tweeted.

President Joe Biden weighed in saying: “I don’t know all the circumstances that were considered but it seems to me, under the guidelines, that seems to be appropriate.”

Chauvin, who has been behind bars since being convicted on three counts of murder and manslaughter two months ago, wore a light grey suit as he learnt his fate following a trial that captivated the world.

He spoke briefly, after declining to testify during his six-week trial.

 People react outside the Hennepin County Government Center after Judge Peter Cahill announced the sentencing of Derek Chauvin on June 25, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AFP
People react outside the Hennepin County Government Center after Judge Peter Cahill announced the sentencing of Derek Chauvin on June 25, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AFP

 

“I do want to give my condolences to the Floyd family,” Chauvin said after removing his face mask.

“At this time due to some additional legal matters at hand, I’m not able to give a full formal statement at this time.

“There’s going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest and I hope things will give you some peace of mind,” he added.

Before he spoke, Carolyn Pawlenty said her son, Chauvin, was a “good man.”

“I have always believed in your innocence and I will never waver from that,” she said.

Earlier, the court watched a moving video from the late Floyd’s seven-year-old daughter, Gianna Floyd.

“I miss you and I love you,” the girl said when asked in the recorded message what she said would say to her father today.

Chauvin and three colleagues arrested Floyd, 46, in May 2020 on suspicion of having passed a fake $20 bill in a store in Minneapolis, a northern city of around 420,000. They handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground in the street.

Chauvin then knelt on the back of Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes, indifferent to the dying man’s groans and to the pleas of distraught passers-by.

 People link arms outside the Hennepin County Government Center as Judge Peter Cahill announces the sentencing of Derek Chauvin on June 25, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AFP
People link arms outside the Hennepin County Government Center as Judge Peter Cahill announces the sentencing of Derek Chauvin on June 25, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AFP

 

The scene, filmed and uploaded by a young woman, quickly went viral. After weeks of home confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people poured onto streets across the country and overseas, to demand an end to racism and police brutality.

It took weeks for the mass demonstrations to taper off, but the debate around the pressing social issues remains vivid in the United States, where President Joe Biden has been slow to come up with the police reforms he promised during his campaign.

Minnesota law provides for a minimum sentence of 12.5 years but Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, his voice choking, told the court that Cahill should hand Chauvin the stiffest term possible.

He also urged Chauvin to explain the reason for the murder during an arrest last year.

“Why? What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother’s neck?” said Floyd.

Cahill identified aggravating circumstances that brought a heavier punishment.

In the pre-sentencing phase of the trial he said Chauvin had “abused his position of trust and authority,” treated Floyd with “particular cruelty” in front of minors and “committed the crime as a group with the active participation of at least three other” officers.

The judge declined to elaborate on how he had come to 22.5 years but said he would detail them in a lengthy written judgment.

‘Particularly cruel’

Chauvin’s trial was closely followed by millions across the country.

His lawyer said he had followed police procedures in force at the time and that Floyd’s death was due to health problems exacerbated by drug use.

The jurors took less than 10 hours to convict. Their decision was greeted with a huge sigh of relief across the country. Many had feared an acquittal would lead to worse unrest, while others worried that once again a white police officer would get away with what they saw as murder.

With good behavior, Chauvin could serve just two-thirds of any prison sentence, with the remaining third on supervised release.

FILES) In this file handout photo provided by the Hennepin County Jail and received by AFP on May 31, 2020 shows Derek Chauvin booking photos face and profile. Handout / Hennepin County Jail / AFP

 

The defense will appeal the verdict, Nelson has said, citing doubts over the impartiality of some jurors.

On the eve of sentencing, the judge denied the defense’s request for a new trial.

Neither will the case end with Chauvin: his three former colleagues will face trial in March 2022 on charges of complicity in homicide.

In parallel, the four men also face federal charges of violating Floyd’s constitutional rights. No date has yet been set for that trial.

 

AFP

Ex-Police Officer Convicted Of Floyd’s Murder Seeks New Trial

In this file screenshot obtained from video feed via Court TV, shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listening to the verdict in his trial in the killing of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 20, 2021. PHOTO: Court TV / AFP

 

Derek Chauvin, the white ex-policeman convicted of murdering African-American man George Floyd, asked Tuesday for a new trial on claims of jury and prosecution misconduct.

The 45-year-old — who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes in Minneapolis — faces up to 40 years in prison after being found guilty last month in a case that prompted a national reckoning on racial injustice and police brutality.

Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson argued that his client did not get a fair trial due to publicity around the case, court and prosecution errors, as well as “race-based pressure” on the jury.

He also alleges that jurors should have been isolated during the trial and that the case could only get a fair hearing in a different place.

“The publicity here was so pervasive and so prejudicial before and during this trial that it amounted to a structural defect in the proceedings,” Nelson wrote.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Floyd family, fiercely opposed the motion on Twitter: “No. No. No. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.”

The filing came as the impartiality of a juror in the case has been called into question after a photo surfaced of him at an anti-racism rally.

Legal experts had said Chauvin’s defense attorney could potentially use the photo of juror Brandon Mitchell as grounds to appeal the verdict, though the matter was not mentioned in Tuesday’s pleading.

 

– High bar for jury misconduct –

In the photo, Mitchell, a 31-year-old Black man, is wearing a T-shirt with a picture of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr on it, as well as the words “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” and the letters “BLM” for Black Lives Matter.

Mitchell is one of only two jurors who have publicly identified themselves since the high-profile trial.

In a questionnaire, potential jurors were asked if they had taken part in any of the protests against police brutality that followed Floyd’s May 25, 2020 death.

Mitchell said he had not and could serve impartially. He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the photo was taken at a march he attended in Washington in August 2020 to mark the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Jeffrey Frederick, a jury selection expert, said Mitchell’s answer may be “technically correct” since the Washington event was billed as a commemoration.

“It’ll be up to the judge to conduct questioning and to make a determination as to whether or not he felt that this juror was biased and, possibly, had lied during the course of voir dire or on the juror questionnaire,” Frederick told AFP.

The judge would then decide whether it “reaches a standard for affecting the outcome of the trial,” he said.

“The bar is high in terms of misconduct and the granting of a new trial,” he added. “Such determinations are rare.”

Steve Tuller, another jury selection expert, agreed.

“Judges do not want to declare mistrials, particularly in a case where there has been a verdict and given the special circumstances of this case,” Tuller said.

AFP

US Ex-Cop Chauvin To Be Sentenced June 16 For George Floyd Murder

FILES) A Minneapolis judge set a $1 million bail for police officer Derek Chauvin June 8, 2020 as he made his first court appearance charged with the murder of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African-American man whose death sparked nationwide protests. 
Handout / Hennepin County Jail / AFP

 

 

Sacked US police officer Derek Chauvin will be sentenced on June 16 for the murder of African American George Floyd in a case that sparked nationwide anti-racism protests.

The Hennepin County District Court in the Midwestern city of Minneapolis, where handcuffed Floyd died last May, said in its online schedule that the white ex-cop will be sentenced at 1:30 pm (1830 GMT).

The 45-year-old ex-officer — who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes — faces up to 40 years in prison after being found guilty of all charges Tuesday over the death of the unarmed man.

The crime was recorded by a bystander whose video shocked the world, triggering mass protests across the United States and beyond, while also prompting a national reckoning on racial injustice and police brutality.

Floyd, 46, was killed as he lay face down and handcuffed, saying repeatedly “I can’t breathe.” The case prompted some police reforms, but advocates including President Joe Biden say more is needed.

 

File photo: George Floyd, Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

 

While the Chauvin trial progressed in Minneapolis, the city was rocked by the fatal police shooting of yet another African American, 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

On Wednesday US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a civil investigation to determine whether the Minneapolis Police Department systematically uses excessive force and “engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing,” including during legal protests.

 

This booking photo received April 21, 2021 courtesy of Minnesota Department of Corrections, showS Derek Chauvin, currently in the Minnesota Department of Corrections’ custody at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights through an agreement between the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Minneapolis Department of Corrections.(Photo by Handout / Minnesota Department of Corrections / AFP)

 

‘We needed a victory’

The jury deliberated less than 11 hours before finding Chauvin guilty of all three charges against him: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

A crowd gathered outside the heavily guarded downtown Minneapolis courtroom erupted in cheers, and some wept tears of relief, when the verdicts were announced after a three-week trial that had an entire nation on edge.

Chauvin, who had been free on bail, was put in handcuffs after Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill read out the unanimous verdicts reached by the racially diverse, seven-woman, five-man jury.

Ahead of the verdict, cities across the United States had been braced for potential unrest and National Guard troops were deployed in Minneapolis.

Floyd was initially arrested on suspicion of a non-violent crime — trying to pass off a counterfeit $20 bill. His brother Rodney told AFP that Black people had been victims of deadly injustice at the hands of US authorities for hundreds of years.

“We needed a victory in this case, it’s very important, and we got it and hey, we might actually breathe a little bit better now,” he said.

 

In this file photo taken on April 15, 2021 this screenshot obtained from video feed via Court TV, shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin(R), who is accused of killing George Floyd, addressing the court, telling the presiding judge that he has decided not to testify in his own defense. STR / Court TV / AFP
In this file photo taken on April 15, 2021 this screenshot obtained from video feed via Court TV, shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin(R), who is accused of killing George Floyd, addressing the court, telling the presiding judge that he has decided not to testify in his own defense. STR / Court TV / AFP

 

Three other former police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest are to go on trial later this year.

Ex-Cop Derek Chauvin Convicted Of All Charges In George Floyd’s Death

These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP
These images taken on May 25, 2020, from a video courtesy of Darnella Frazier via Facebook, shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin during the arrest of George Floyd. Darnella Frazier / Facebook/Darnella Frazier / AFP

 

Sacked police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter Tuesday in the death of African-American George Floyd in a case that roiled the United States for almost a year, laying bare deep racial divisions.

A racially-diverse jury of seven women and five men in the Midwestern city of Minneapolis took less than two days at the end of a three-week trial to find the white officer guilty in unanimous decisions on all three charges he faced.

Chauvin, 45, could be handed decades behind bars for Floyd’s May 25, 2020 killing, which sparked protests against racial injustice around the world and is being seen as a landmark test of police accountability.

Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump hailed the verdict as a landmark victory for civil rights that could be a springboard to legislation to reform police forces in their dealings with minorities.

“Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family. This verdict is a turning point in history and sends a clear message on the need for accountability of law enforcement,” Crump tweeted.

 In this file photo taken on April 15, 2021 this screenshot obtained from video feed via Court TV, shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin(R), who is accused of killing George Floyd, addressing the court, telling the presiding judge that he has decided not to testify in his own defense. STR / Court TV / AFP
In this file photo taken on April 15, 2021 this screenshot obtained from video feed via Court TV, shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin(R), who is accused of killing George Floyd, addressing the court, telling the presiding judge that he has decided not to testify in his own defense. STR / Court TV / AFP

 

“Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!”

Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, faces a maximum of 40 years in prison on the most serious of three charges he faced — second-degree murder.

He was seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as the 46-year-old Black man lay handcuffed facedown in the street complaining he “can’t breathe.”

The harrowing video, which was shown repeatedly to the jury during Chauvin’s three-week trial, sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality around the world.

 People react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021 In Minneapolis, Minnesota. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
People react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021 In Minneapolis, Minnesota. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

 

The courtroom drama played out before the eyes of the nation as Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot dead in a Minneapolis suburb by a white policewoman who apparently mistook her gun for her Taser, and a 13-year-old boy was killed by police in Chicago.

Wright’s killing triggered several nights of protests in Minneapolis, and ahead of a verdict in Chauvin’s case National Guard troops were deployed in the Minnesota city where shop windows have been boarded up as a precaution, as well as in the capital, Washington.

Among the 38 witnesses who testified for the prosecution were some of the bystanders who watched Floyd’s May 25, 2020 arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Darnella Frazier, the teenager who took the video that went viral, said Floyd was “scared” and “begging for his life.”

“It wasn’t right. He was suffering,” Frazier said.

Chauvin attended every day of the trial — dressed in a suit and taking notes on a yellow legal pad — but spoke only once to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

A conviction on any of the charges — second-degree murder, third-degree murder or manslaughter — will require the jury to return a unanimous verdict.

The racially diverse jury was made up of six white women, three Black men, three white men, two mixed race women and one Black woman.

Three other former police officers — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng — also face charges in connection with Floyd’s death.

They are to be tried separately later in the year.

Defense Medical Expert Says Floyd Cause Of Death ‘Undetermined’

In this file photo taken on June 19, 2020 protesters march across the Brooklyn Bridge over the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police during a Juneteenth rally in New York. – His name is chanted by demonstrators around the globe.  (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP)

 

 

George Floyd died from cardiac arrest brought on by heart disease, illegal drug use and other factors, a retired forensic pathologist testified on Wednesday at the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

The testimony of Dr David Fowler, a witness called by Chauvin’s defense team, contradicted that of several medical experts put on the witness stand by the prosecution.

Those experts said Floyd died of hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, while being held facedown and handcuffed on the ground with Chauvin’s knee on his neck for more than nine minutes.

A bystander video of Floyd’s May 25, 2020 arrest went viral and sparked protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.

Fowler, the former chief medical examiner of the eastern state of Maryland, said he did not believe Floyd died due to hypoxia and he would classify his death as “undetermined.”

“I would fall back to undetermined in this particular case,” he said. “One of the uses of this particular classification is when you’ve got so many conflicting potential mechanisms, when the manner is not clear.”

The South African-born Fowler said Floyd had an enlarged heart and a “significant narrowing of all of his coronary arteries.”

“Mr Floyd died of a cardiac arrythmia due to hypertensive, atherosclerotic vascular disease during the restraint,” he said.

He said fentanyl and methamphetamine ingested by Floyd were contributing causes along with “the potential of a carbon monoxide role.”

Fowler said Floyd was held down on the ground by Chauvin and other officers next to the exhaust pipe of a running police car.

Fowler said he did not believe Floyd died of carbon monoxide poisoning but it was potential factor in his death.

He acknowledged under cross-examination, however, that no tests were ever done on the CO2 levels in Floyd’s body.

– Defense acquittal motion denied –
Earlier Wednesday, the judge presiding over the trial denied a defense motion to acquit Chauvin.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson said prosecutors had failed to prove their case against the 45-year-old Chauvin beyond a reasonable doubt and he should be acquitted.

The motion is a standard request in criminal trials at the end of the presentation of the prosecution case and it was rejected by Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill.

“The motion for judgment of acquittal is denied,” Cahill said.

The judge also said he would allow a potential defense witness to invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to testify.

Morries Hall was with Floyd on the day of his arrest and his attorney, Adrienne Cousins, told the judge that Hall could “not answer any questions without incriminating himself.”

“I’m fearful of criminal charges going forward,” Hall told the court.

Nelson has suggested that Hall gave illegal drugs to Floyd, who was being arrested for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

Nelson asked the judge on Monday to sequester the jury after protests erupted in Minneapolis following the police killing of a 20-year-old Black man.

The judge denied the request and said the jury would be sequestered after closing arguments, which are expected on Monday.

A conviction on any of the counts against Chauvin will require the nine-woman, five-man jury to return a unanimous verdict.

Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge — second-degree murder.

A 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, Chauvin was fired from the force after Floyd’s death.

Three other former police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest are to be tried separately later this year.

Policeman Accused Of Murdering George Floyd To Appear In Court

In this file handout photo provided by the Hennepin County Jail and received by AFP on May 31, 2020 shows Derek Chauvin booking photos face and profile. Chauvin was filmed on May 25 pressing his knee on handcuffed Floyd’s neck until he died, appeared by video from Minnesota state prison to face charges of one count of second degree murder, one count of third degree murder, and one count of manslaughter. PHOTO: Handout / Hennepin County Jail / AFP

 

The US police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African-American man whose death sparked nationwide protests, was due to appear in court in person for the first time on Friday.

Derek Chauvin, who was filmed on May 25 pressing his knee on handcuffed Floyd’s neck until he passed out on a street in Minneapolis, faces one count of second-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, and one count of second-degree manslaughter.

Three other Minneapolis officers who were with Chauvin when Floyd was arrested have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. All four were fired the day after Floyd’s death.

Prosecutors say Floyd’s death was “vicious, brutal, and dehumanising.” He had been detained for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery.

As Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck, two other officers pinned down Floyd’s back and legs, and the fourth prevented bystanders from intervening to save his life.

In his first live appearance in a courtroom, Chauvin’s lawyers are expected to argue that Floyd was on drugs at the time and died of a fentanyl overdose.

Prosecutors want to try all four together, saying the worked in concert, and that a joint trial would be more efficient and would save Floyd’s family anguish.

Defense attorneys want to have the four tried separately and also are asking to change the venue for the trial.

Outside the Family Justice Center in downtown Minneapolis early Friday, several dozen protestors chanted “George Floyd!” and carried placards and a large flag that read “Black Lives Matter.”

AFP

Bail Set At $1 Million For Policeman Charged With Floyd Murder

FILES) In this file handout photo provided by the Hennepin County Jail and received by AFP on May 31, 2020 shows Derek Chauvin booking photos face and profile.  AFP

 

Bail was set at $1 million on Monday for the Minneapolis police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd as mourners paid their respects in his hometown of Houston to the African-American man whose death has sparked massive protests for racial justice across the United States and beyond.

In Washington, Democratic lawmakers knelt in silent tribute to Floyd before unveiling a package of police reforms in response to the killing of black Americans by law enforcement.

The move comes a day after the Minneapolis city council voted to dismantle and rebuild the police department in the Minnesota city where the 46-year-old Floyd died during a May 25 arrest.

Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was filmed pressing his knee on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes until he expired, made his first court appearance on Monday.

Chauvin, 44, appeared by video from state prison to face charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The 19-year veteran of the police force could face decades in prison if convicted.

In a procedural hearing that did not require Chauvin to submit a plea, the Hennepin County District Court judge set his bail at $1 million with conditions and $1.25 million without conditions.

Meeting the conditions would require him to surrender his firearms, not work in law enforcement or security in any capacity, and have no contact with the family of Floyd.

Three other Minneapolis police officers appeared in court last week to face a charge of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder for their roles in his arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

All four officers have been fired.

 ‘Bringing us together’ 

In Houston, the Texas city where Floyd grew up, hundreds of mourners waited patiently in stifling heat outside the Fountain of Praise Church to pay their last respects.

A stream of mourners passed in front of Floyd’s casket, some making the sign of the cross, some taking a knee and others bowing their heads in silent prayer.

All were required to wear masks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s bringing us together as a country,” said Kevin Sherrod, 41, who was accompanied by his wife and two sons aged eight and nine.

“Being here with my boys means a lot,” Sherrod added. “It is a time in history and they will remember they were part of it.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was flying to Houston on Monday to meet privately with members of Floyd’s family.

Floyd is to be buried in Houston on Tuesday next to his mother.

Floyd’s death, the latest of a black man at the hands of police, has unleashed protests for racial justice and against police brutality in cities across the US and around the world.

The Minneapolis city council pledged on Sunday to dismantle and rebuild the police department.

“We committed to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe,” council president Lisa Bender said.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said that while he supported “structural reform to revise this structurally racist system” he was not for abolishing the department.

Other US cities have already begun to embrace reforms — starting with bans on the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.

 ‘We hear you’ 

In Washington, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and two dozen other lawmakers knelt in silence at the US Capitol for the eight minutes and 46 seconds that Chauvin spent with his knee on Floyd’s neck.

Democrats then unveiled a wide-ranging police reform bill, one of the chief demands of demonstrators who have taken to the streets for the past two weeks in the most sweeping US protests for racial justice since the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The bill aims to create “meaningful, structural change that safeguards every Americans’ right to safety and equal justice,” the Democrats said.

The Justice and Policing Act, introduced in both chambers of Congress, would make it easier to prosecute officers for abuse and rethink how they are recruited and trained.

“Black lives matter. The protests we’ve seen in recent days are an expression of rage and one of despair,” House Democrat Steny Hoyer said. “Today Democrats in the House and Senate are saying: ‘We see you, we hear you, we are acting.'”

Democratic leaders did not include language calling to “defund the police” — increasingly a rallying cry for protesters — and White House hopeful Biden issued a statement flatly rejecting the suggestion.

Even so it is unclear what support the proposed reforms might find in the Republican-controlled Senate — or whether Trump would sign such legislation into law.

Trump has adopted a tough approach to putting down the protests and has proposed no specific policy changes in response to the widespread outrage over Floyd’s death.

“LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone crazy!” he tweeted on Monday ahead of a scheduled roundtable with law enforcement at the White House on Monday.

A CNN poll published on Monday of registered voters had Biden with a 14-point lead over Trump — his biggest margin yet in the White House race.

AFP