Bernie Sanders criticises Republican policing bill and says ‘we need to abolish qualified immunity’
Vermont's Senator Bernie Sanders speaks in the Senate on Thursday: (Senator Bernie Sanders - YouTube)
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders criticized the proposed law to reform the Republican police and called for an end to qualified immunity.
On Wednesday, Republican senators announced a new bill aimed at reforming U.S. police forces amid mass protests in response to the death of George Floyd, who died after being arrested by a Minneapolis police officer.
On Wednesday evening, the Democrats announced in the House Justice Committee a law to reform the police force that differs from the proposed Senate legislation in that national measures must be implemented and chokeholds must be banned.
The Republican bill, called the JUSTICE Act, is designed to encourage individual states to take action against police misconduct, but only requires restrictions on chokeholds, not a total ban.
When he spoke in the Senate on Thursday, Sanders criticized the new law, led by Republican Senator Tim Scott, and said that according to Common Dreams, it didn't go far enough to combat police brutality.
Regarding the proposed GOP bill, Sanders said the legislation was not radical enough to solve problems related to police violence and brutality in the United States.
"Now is not the time to think small or respond with superficial, bureaucratic suggestions," said Sanders.
“Now is not the time for further studies. Now it is time to hold racist and corrupt policemen and police officers accountable for their actions. "
Mr. Sanders brought up several transformative ideas to address police violence problems in the United States, including the elimination of qualified immunity.
He said: "We must abolish" qualified immunity "so that police officers are held liable for abuse under civil law."
The senator added that “those found guilty must be punished with the full force of the law. This includes officers who are on standby during brutal acts. "
During his speech, Mr. Sanders called for an unarmed "civilian core" of first responders to be added to the police divisions, along with numerous other guidelines, to ensure that officers are not forced to do jobs that they are not trained to do.
He said, "Now is the time to make far-reaching reforms to protect people and communities who have suffered from police brutality, torture and murder for far too long."
Mr. Sanders added: "And now it is time to act bravely to protect the right to protest the first change."
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