police reform

From Texas Standard:

Five years ago, 28-year-old Sandra Bland died by what was officially ruled a suicide, in a Waller County jail cell. Bland, a Black woman, was about to start a job at Prairie View A&M University. But on July 13, 2015, a Texas state trooper pulled her over for failing to use her turn signal.

Updated Friday at 10:08 p.m. ET

Four Aurora, Colorado police officers have lost their jobs in the continued fallout over the arrest and death of Elijah McClain.

McClain was stopped by police as he walked home from a convenience store last summer. In the ensuing confrontation he was placed in a chokehold by police and later sedated. His death has been compared to that of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May and has prompted outrage and protest.

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

Senate Democrats, emboldened by a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, blocked debate Wednesday on a Republican police reform bill that they said did not go far enough to address racial inequality.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — Activists and citizens from Dodge City to the Kansas City suburbs are reconsidering the involvement of police in their communities — including whether officers should continue to help respond to mental health crises.

The White House is preparing to fill several vacancies on the influential commission that makes policy used to punish tens of thousands of criminals every year, according to three sources familiar with the process.

But critics worry that the likely Trump nominees could adopt more punitive approaches at a time when a diverse group of protesters is marching for a different approach to policing and justice.

Updated at 5:13 p.m. ET Friday

Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan, the arresting officers involved in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, turned themselves in on Thursday. The men were booked separately Thursday at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., gave an emotional speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, commemorating the five-year anniversary of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in his home state and lambasting a Democratic colleague for referring to his police reform bill as "token" legislation.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans unveiled legislation on Wednesday to address a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, with hopes of acting on police misconduct, dangerous practices and concerns of systemic racism.

But Democrats say the proposal, which would encourage police departments to end such practices such as chokeholds and no-knock warrants but does not explicitly ban them, falls short.

When protests erupted in Minnesota following the death of George Floyd — the black man who died after a white Minneapolis policeman kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes — many of the law enforcement agencies from the Twin Cities metropolitan area that responded were recent beneficiaries of free excess military materiel from a Pentagon program originally meant to support counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism operations.

In the wake of George Floyd's death, a flashpoint in the debates over police reform has been the push to ban chokeholds nationwide. Advocates believe that enshrining a ban into law will deter police violence.

And it's gaining traction. Congressional Democrats have proposed a legislative package that calls for a ban on all neck restraints. President Trump, though he stopped short of full support of a ban, said late last week that police should avoid using chokeholds. And the state of New York passed a law banning the tactic.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday encouraging police departments to improve training — a step critics say falls short of what is needed to curb police officers' use of force against nonwhites.

The order comes as the president faces tremendous pressure to take action following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police last month.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

The Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday held its first hearing on policing since the May 25 death of George Floyd — a black man who was killed in custody by Minneapolis police — triggered a wave of protests and international outcry for reform of the U.S. police system.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to hold a urgent debate on racism and police brutality in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

The proposal, made by a group of African countries led by Burkina Faso, was approved on Monday by the U.N.'s top human rights body.

The debate on "the current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protests" is scheduled for Wednesday.

Even a couple of months ago, the organizers of Stay Black and Live were hoping to put on a traditional Juneteenth event, complete with a parade and lots of people gathering together to celebrate. “Like a lot of nonprofits and organizations doing signature events, we kept thinking okay, let’s not call it yet, let’s not pivot yet. It could happen,” says Pamela Benson Owens, the acting executive director of Six Square and a member of the team that’s creating the festival.

As demonstrations against police brutality and racism have rocked the world, some Kansans have protested in hopes of pushing reforms at home.

Since Memorial Day, thousands of people have attended rallies and marches across the state, from Garden City to Kansas City, protesting the deaths of George Floyd and other black people at the hands of the police.

And like many other communities in the U.S., Kansas activists and law enforcement are taking another look at policing in their communities.

After almost three weeks of demonstrations following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, America seems to be at a threshold moment.

Polling shows attitudes shifting more in favor of protesters and embracing the potential for change when it comes to how policing is done in this country.

Police departments in at least half a dozen states have already moved to make reforms, but when it comes to sweeping national change, it's not clear how far Washington will go.

House and Senate Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation Monday to overhaul policing in the U.S., following weeks of national protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died after a police officer held his knee to Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes.