George Floyd Act falling short, despite some smaller reforms passing
AUSTIN, Texas - The one-year anniversary of the killing of Texas native George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has come and gone, and it appears sweeping police reform legislation in his memory will not pass at the Texas Legislature.
The omnibus George Floyd Act, which included several big reforms, failed to make it out of committee. Among other changes, it would have removed so-called "qualified immunity", which in many cases protects officers from civil lawsuits.
The act was later broken down into individual bills by the Texas House, such as one to create a uniform discipline system for officers, and another to prevent officers from making an arrest during a traffic stop that would not result in jail time. Both of those reforms are almost certain to fail in the Senate.
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There are a few bills that did pass both chambers, though—such as banning chokeholds and requiring officers to intervene if another officer is using excessive force. Notably, both of these had the support of Texas police unions, unlike the other proposals.
"It is offensive to me as a citizen of this state, as a state representative, as a black woman that instead of listening to the cries of those here, instead of addressing their issues, we decide to let the police unions dictate what happens to them," said State Rep. Jasmine Crockett, a Democrat representing Dallas.
But State Sen. Joan Huffman, a Houston Republican who chairs the committee that failed to pass the George Floyd Act, said in a statement: "I am proud of the work that the Senate has done this session, and while there were other bills that did not have the votes to pass, I am hopeful that these bills will continue to strengthen the crucial relationship between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve."