Following the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis resident who died in police custody May 25, a wave of protests and riots have unfolded in major cities across the United States. The primary concern of these demonstrations has been growing criticism of policing practices in the US, which critics say are too reliant on excessive force and are racially biased.
Congressional Democrats are set to introduce police reforms that ban chokeholds, target qualified immunity, and put restrictions on military weapons. However, local governments have already begun to enact their own reforms. Here are some of the changes made or proposed by major cities across the country.
As the origin of the nationwide protests, Minneapolis City Council announced Sunday that they would disband the Minneapolis Police Department and redirect funding “towards a community-based public safety model.” (RELATED: Minneapolis City Council President Says Calling The Police During An Emergency Is ‘Privilege’)
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who was booed by protestors Sunday for disagreeing with abolition proposals, said that he would try to change police union contracts and arbitration methods.
In a unanimous vote held last week, the city council banned police chokeholds, expanded disciplinary action against officers that violate the law, increased bodycam footage audits, and required authorization for the use of tear gas, ABC News reported.
New York City
New York City Council announced Tuesday that it will work with Mayor Bill de Blasio on altering the city’s budget, which included plans to redistribute funding from the New York Police Department to “youth development and social services for communities of color.”
Reforms were also introduced by de Blasio during an announcement Sunday, which included efforts to boost transparency in the NYPD and to establish community ambassadors within the police force. (RELATED: De Blasio Announces Plan To Move Funds From NYPD Amid Calls To Defund The Police)
At the state level, the New York State Legislature voted Monday to criminalize chokeholds, and is expected to be signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Los Angeles Police Department announced in a statement Monday that chokeholds will be temporarily banned until a board of commissioners reviews the policy. The moratorium, which was agreed upon by Police Commission president Eileen Decker and LAPD Chief Michel Moore, affects both training and application protocol.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has also called for statewide police reforms, including an end to chokeholds and similar practices, Fox News reported. He demanded that local departments discontinue the practice, adding that strangleholds and similar techniques have no place “in 21st-century practices and policing.”
D.C. City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to enact legislation that would reform the Metropolitan Police Department. These proposals included banning the use of tear gas, prohibiting people with past misconduct from joining the police, and expanding disciplinary action.
Although D.C. police banned the use of neck restraints in 2017, the city council said they intend to revisit previous legislation, particularly those related to bodycams and use of force provisions.