WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Congress held the first hearing on police reform since George Floyd’s death rattled the nation.
Floyds brother, Philonise, was among those testifying. He’s calling on Congress to pass the Democratic new bill to hold police accountable for misconduct.
“I am here to ask you to make it stop, stop the pain,” Philonise Floyd said.
Less than 24 hours after burying his older brother, Philonise Floyd made an emotional plea to Congress for systematic change.
“He didn’t deserve to die over twenty dollars. I am asking you, is that what a black man’s worth?,” Philonise Floyd said.
The Floyd family and their attorney Ben Crump joined a panel supporting the Justice in Policing Act. The bill requires new police training, outlaws chokeholds and makes it easier for victims of brutality to sue.
“If officers know they have immunity, they act with impunity,” Crump said.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., says Congress must act.
“We need national standards,” Cleaver said.
Congressman Dan Kildee is also in support of the bill.
“One way we can honor George Floyd and the countless other lives lost to discriminatory and excessive policing is by acting on this bill without delay,” Kildee said.
While sympathetic to the Floyd family, Republicans say the reforms are not the the answer.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, says it’s wrong to punish all law enforcement for what he calls “a few bad apples.”
“A vast vast majority of law enforcement are responsible, hard working first responders,” Jordan said.
Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., says Democrats need to work with Republicans to find a compromised solution.
“Something has to be done,” Davis said. “I think this issue is way too important to become a partisan talking point.”
But with their brother’s name part of a growing list of victims of police brutality, the Floyd family says they won’t settle for less than real change.
“I’m tired. I’m tired of pain,” Philonise Floyd said.
Democrats say they want reforms passed by the end of the month. They also say it will be renamed to honor George Floyd.