After months of debate, Democratic and Republican lawmakers announced Thursday that they reached an agreement in principle to pass a major police reform to curb abuses by agents against racial minorities in the United States.
Miami World / telemundo51
Republican Senator Tim Scott, Democrat Cory Booker and Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, all African American, announced the agreement in principle in a statement Thursday night.
“After months of good faith work, we have agreed on a framework that addresses the main issues for bipartisan police reform,” lawmakers said in a joint statement.
However, they acknowledged that “there is still work to be done” to reach a final version of the bill, which will face a tough battle in the Senate where Democrats have a weak majority of 50 seats and would need 60 votes to approve it.
Lawmakers did not disclose the content of the agreement.
One of the points that has complicated the negotiations is the idea of ”legal immunity” for the police, which makes it very difficult to file lawsuits against those officers who are accused of having used force in a disproportionate way.
In a statement, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden is “grateful” for the work the three lawmakers have been doing and “is looking forward to working with them on the road ahead.”
This effort to reform the police comes after several years of protests over the deaths of African Americans at the hands of officers, especially after the case of George Floyd, suffocated by a white police officer in May 2020 while begging to be allowed to breathe.
The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives approved a law to reform the police force named after George Floyd in early March, but that bill has stuck in the Senate.
Biden wanted to have passed a major police reform before the first anniversary of Floyd’s death, on May 25 of this year, but strong disagreements in Congress prevented it.