Booker optimistic on police bill despite likely missing Floyd anniversary deadline

"We're making meaningful progress, and I’m committed," Sen. Cory Booker said about the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

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Senator Cory Booker said on CNN’s State of the Union that he is optimistic the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will pass in Congress. However, it will not be in time for tomorrow’s anniversary of Floyd’s murder.

“We’re making meaningful progress, and I’m committed,” the Democrat from New Jersey said Sunday. “We have to have a nation where we end what I think has been a more-revealed anguish and agony of many Americans.”

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (above) says he is optimistic the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will pass in Congress. However, it will not be in time for tomorrow’s anniversary of Floyd’s murder. (Photo By Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

The act would ban police use of chokeholds, establish a national database of police misconduct, prohibit religious and racial profiling and end qualified immunity that protects officers from being sued for their assets.

Republicans have specifically opposed lifting qualified immunity, however, Booker — who has been toiling on the bill aside Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass and Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott — said he is “determined” to see it as part of the act. Other Democrats, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn, have stated they’re willing to compromise on qualified immunity to pass it.

Scott, the lead Republican negotiator, is reportedly working on a compromise that may retain immunity for individual officers but open police departments to face lawsuits. Traditionally, police misconduct suits are settled by the city in which they occurred.

“I can tell you, a lot of law enforcement agencies are very concerned about it and what it would mean for their bottom line,” Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said last week. “What they’re saying is we’re now going to get sued every time we pull somebody over … We’re just going to have hundreds and hundreds of lawsuits, and we’re going to hire an army of lawyers.”

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Civil right attorney Ben Crump, who represents numerous Black families who’ve lost kin to police violence, has said that ending qualified immunity would allow officers and the people their actions impact to get their day in court.

President Joe Biden wanted to see the bill passed in time for the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s murder at the hands of convicted former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who, along with three other officers, has been additionally charged with federal hate crimes.

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