Dem Rep. Pressley on Police Reform: We Shouldn’t Have to ‘Incentivize Justice’

In a Sunday interview on MSNBC’s “Kasie DC,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) sounded off on the differences between the Democrat-majority House’s police reform bill and the GOP-majority Senate’s bill in the wake of George Floyd’s death last month while in Minneapolis police custody.

Pressley said the Senate’s police reform bill, led by Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) efforts, “was just buzz words,” adding police should not have to be incentivized to treat others justly and humanely.

“I want to acknowledge the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus in putting forward the Justice in Policing Act, which is an historic and bold act forward in the right direction, banning chokeholds, banning no-knock warrants,” Pressley told host Kasie Hunt. “If that had already been in existence then Breonna Taylor and George Floyd would still be alive, they would still be with us. But we need to go farther. And we need to bring to the floor my bill with representative Justin Amash to end qualified immunity. We have officers that are operating with impunity, with callous disregard for human life, for black lives without any retribution because of these protections. No one is above the law, including law enforcement.”

She added, “If we believe that black lives matter, then justice for the black lives that we’ve been robbed of matters, and there won’t be true justice because true justice would mean they’re still alive. But we can get a pathway to healing with accountability. And so, we are moving in the right direction. I’d say we’re moving in the right direction and we can’t afford to wait. How many black lives have been brutalized, choked, lynched, surveyed, profiled, policed unjustly? The Senate bill was just buzz words. We should not have to incentivize people treating others humanely. We should not have to incentivize justice. And what the Democrats have done in this moment is we are affirming those very principles — the values we claim to espouse as a nation.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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