The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus rejected growing demands from activists for a national defunding of police departments but said the House is forging ahead with passing police reforms as soon as this month.
In a video press conference Wednesday, Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., said she personally doesn't favor the #DefundthePolice movement that Black Lives Matter activists and protesters across the country have been pushing as a way to end brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.
Bass on Wednesday joined with the leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and members of the Congressional Native American Caucus to call for legislation to condemn police brutality and reform police departments.
The proposals are still being developed, but Bass outlined the broad themes of the "comprehensive" legislation: holding police accountable, identifying bad cops and training officers.
Unlike past efforts to pass police reform bills, lawmakers say Floyd's case is different because the video of his death horrified Americans across the country and prompted tens of thousands of people to protest in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic to demand action.