Saturday 28 January 2023
Afternoon News Notes:
- The police officers belonged to a special unit (Scorpion). So, why were they making a traffic stop?
- Memphis local newspaper reporter:
- Organized by the new police chief Davis, to deal with violent crimes, reckless driving, car thefts. for “hot spot” policing method. Reporter says they were “overpolicing” Tyre Nichols. Currently the unit is inactive.
- Tim Alexander, Civil Rights Attorney, on MSNBC, notes that a team like the scorpion team needs “intense supervision.” There didn’t appear to be any supervision on the scene. If I were the chief I would disband the team. There are newer approaches.
- DOJ has opened a civil rights case against the police officers, according to Joyce Vance.
- According to MSNBC reporting, the George Floyd Police Reform act curbs qualified immunity for officers, federal bans chokeholds, bans n0-knock warrants in federal drug cases, outlaws racial profiling, ensures use of body dashboard cams, creates a national registry of police misconduct.
- The bill itself was sponsored by Karen Bass.
- Charles Blow’s opinion piece in the New York Times is an essential read for today.
- Blow: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/27/opinion/tyre-nichols-video.html
- George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
- The bill enhances existing enforcement mechanisms to remedy violations by law enforcement. Among other things, it does the following:
- lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution,
- limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer, and
- grants administrative subpoena power to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in pattern-or-practice investigations.
- Wikipedia on Act https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Floyd_Justice_in_Policing_Act
- The bill was drafted by Democrats Karen Bass and Jerry Nadler. The bill passed in the house on a party-line vote 220-212.
- Opposition in the Senate by Republicans stopped the bill.
- Republicans, like Tim Scott, objected to any legislation that would restrict the qualified-immunity doctrine.
- Republicans also objected to banning chokeholds or federal restrictions on police use of deadly force.
- Republicans also objected to restricting no-knock raids.
- A second bill was introduced and sponsored by all Democrats. It was opposed by all Republicans.