‘The work starts now:’ Texas lawmakers discuss plans for police reform bill named in honor of George Floyd

HOUSTON – Members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus laid out their plans Thursday to introduce the George Floyd Act.

State Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), chairman of the caucus, said words enough aren’t enough after the death of George Floyd, the man from Houston who died while being arrested by police officers in Minneapolis. Video showed one officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck even after Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

The act aims to reform policing in the state by banning chokeholds, mandating proportional response by officers and ending arrests for fine-only violations. It would also require officers to clearly identify themselves as officers and render aid in the event that someone becomes injured. Use of force would laws would also be narrowed under the proposed bill, while certain types of lethal force would be eliminated.

Members of the caucus also said that they eventually want to do away with no-knock warrants, but that may have to be part of a different bill.

“Let everyone know that change is coming,” said State Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth).

Dutton said the Texas bill has some of the same provisions as the proposed legislation at the federal level, which is also named after Floyd.

The caucus said they hope to work with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to pass the legislation. They asked Abbott to put the bill on an emergency call so that it is one of the first pieces of legislation that are discussed at the next session, which runs from January to May 2021.

“The work starts now,” Dutton said.

Watch the full press conference below.

George Floyd Act news conference

Texas lawmakers are discussing their plans to introduce the George Floyd Act.

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Thursday, August 13, 2020

Correction:The date of the 2021 legislative session has been corrected.

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