Democrats kneel for George Floyd

Democrat party leaders kneel for over 8 minutes in memory of George Floyd before passing law aimed at preventing police violence.

Mordechai Sones ,

Democrats wearing Ghanaian Kente Neck Scarves
Democrats wearing Ghanaian Kente Neck Scarves

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with congressional minority leader Chuck Schumer and many Democratic Party members, kneeled in silence for 8:46 minutes, the amount of time Floyd was on the sidewalk with a policeman's knee on his neck until he was asphyxiated to death.

The gesture by Democratic Party members took place in Congress's Emancipation Hall, named after the slaves who helped build Capitol Hill in the 18th century.

"We're here to think about this pain. We are here to honor the actions of the American people intended to cry out against such acts. We are here to honor George Floyd's memory," Pelosi said before kneeling.

Immediately afterwards, party members submitted a bill designed to increase police oversight and prevention. The 136-page "Justice in Policing 2020" bill includes a series of reforms designed to facilitate prosecuting police accused of violence and misconduct, restricting current legal protections for police officers, establishing a national pool of investigations into incidents where police officers are accused of using excessive force, and will prohibit by law strangulation by police.

Democrat Congresswoman Karen Bass leading the new law, said: "We are in a moment of truth in our country. The new law package will be bolder than any change in enforcement laws in the last decade. It's time for policing culture in many departments to change, and we believe the new legislation takes a big step in that direction."

Some Republican congressmen, including Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, have already announced that they will review the new law and may support it.