Pelosi highlighted the need for police reforms at the federal level in response to a request for comment on a controversial tweet from Rep. Rashida Tlaib who called for “no more policing.” Tlaib argued that policing in America can’t be reformed because it’s “inherently [and] intentionally racist.”
Pelosi touted the sweeping police reform bill that the House passed in March in honor of George Floyd, who died in May 2020 after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin allegedly knelt on his neck during an arrest for more than 9 minutes.
“As I painfully watched the trial of Derek Chauvin during Holy Week, I was grateful that the House had already passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act,” Pelosi said in a statement to Fox News. “This is all the more sad with the tragic killing of Daunte Wright this week. Our legislation provides a solution to systemic racism and does not paint all law enforcement with the same brush.”
Other Democrats Tuesday have also distanced themselves from Tlaib’s “no more policing” tweet following the police-involved shooting death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year old Black man, during a routine traffic stop in Minnesota over the weekend.
“Look, we all know we have to root out systemic bias in law enforcement and we feel the best way to do that is the Justice in Policing Act,” Schumer said.
“I don’t know if it passed the House this year, but it passed it last year, and we are making every effort to move it forward in Senate,” Schumer added, stating that he will put the bill on the Senate floor for a vote.
Championed by civil rights groups, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would overhaul standards for police tactics and conduct at the federal level. Prominent measures include a federal ban on no-knock warrants and chokeholds, limits on qualified immunity shielding police from civil lawsuits, a framework to prevent racial profiling and the establishment of a national registry on allegations of police misconduct.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki added that Tlaib’s tweet was “not the president’s view.”
And Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., stressed he wants police reforms, not an end to policing.
“We definitely need reforms in the space of qualified immunity,” Kaine said when asked about Tlaib’s tweet. “But I, I am not in the camp that says, you know, we should disrespect police, we should reform police where police are necessary.”
Pelosi spent Tuesday honoring police officers and specifically the late U.S. Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans who was killed on April 2 while protecting the Capitol. Pelosi joined President Biden and other lawmakers to pay tribute to Evans during a memorial service at the Capitol Rotunda where she praised Evans as an “American hero” and a “martyr for our democracy.”
“Officer Billy Evans was a hero whose life was distinguished by dedication to our country, including 18 years on the Capitol force,” Pelosi said Tuesday. “He represented the best of public service: selflessness, sacrifice and sheer courage in the face of threats to our nation.”
Pelosi ended her tribute speech by offering prayers for other law enforcement officers.
“May God bless the United States Capitol Police force and all who work to keep our nation safe, and may God bless America,” she said.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer, Morgan Phillips and Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.