House passes police reform act named for George Floyd

Phil Helsel
Representative Karen Bass, a Democrat from California and chair of the Democratic Black Caucus, speaks during an event with members of the Democratic caucus on the East Front steps of the U.S. Capitol before a vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, June 25, 2020.
Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a police reform bill that would ban chokeholds and overhaul qualified immunity protections for officers.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, H.R. 1280, passed 220 to 212 — although a Republican representative said he'd voted yes by mistake and changed the official record to reflect his opposition.

Republican Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, tweeted that he'd pressed the wrong button and voted for the bill by accident.

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version of the bill passed last year but stalled in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. The House bill passed Wednesday night still has to go to the Senate where it will need at least 10 Republican votes for passage.

The bill is named after Floyd, the Black man who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for minutes. That officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired and faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter. His trial and jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday.

The bill among other things would ban neck restraints and no-knock warrants at the federal level. It would also reform qualified immunity, which is a doctrine that makes it difficult to sue officers.

Some places have already taken such steps. Colorado last year ended qualified immunity as a defense for officers in state courts.

The Biden administration on Monday threw its support behind the bill. The White House said that trust between law enforcement and communities can't be rebuilt unless police officers are not held accountable for abuses of power and systemic racism.