WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — The day after the funeral and burial of George Floyd in Houston, lawmakers in Washington got down to business on the issue of the police brutality against African-Americans.
Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody after a police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Dozens of witnesses testified before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, demanding that Congress takes action — including the older brother of George Floyd.
Holding back tears, Philonise Floyd asked lawmakers for one thing: justice.
“I am here to ask you to make it stop,” said Philonise.
Philonise says Congress needs to make sure law enforcement is a solution and not a problem.
Texas Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says the bill unveiled this week would make it easier to prosecute police misconduct. It would also ban choke holds and demilitarize police departments across the country.
But Texas Republican Louie Gohmert says the bill was crafted without Republican input. He says the bill would remove funding from police departments, a claim Democrats reject.
“There is no denying that changes in policing must be made,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told the committee.
But Acevedo said stripping funding is not the answer.
“History has shown that under-funding the police can have disastrous consequences and hurt those most in need of our services,” he continued.
Acevedo says if Congress wants to fix the problem and bring justice to George Floyd, they need to make sure funding goes directly towards improving police departments — and helping get rid of bad officers.