Tennessee lawmakers introduce the George Floyd Act for police reform

Posted at 3:19 PM, Jun 09, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — House Democrats introduced legislation to tackle police reform here in Tennessee in response to recent protests.

The George Floyd Act is comprised of eight amendments to an existing bill (HB2291) that would change the way police officers use and even threaten to use physical, excessive and deadly force.

The existing bill is currently a republican-sponsored bill that extends the length of time for a hearing to be held for a police officer who has been dismissed, demoted, suspended or transferred for punitive reasons.

"We put forward the George Floyd Act. It’s a comprehensive effort to prevent the sort of tragic incidents, inexcusable incidents like we saw in Minneapolis," said State Representative Mike Stewart.

Demonstrators, who took to the streets of Nashville and throughout the country, chanted "Say his name. George Floyd," demanding their cities hear his name. They marched in streets to black lives matter in hopes of ending police brutality.

Stewart says people don’t just want to talk, they want action.

The resolutions are based on the national “8 Can’t Wait” movement of police reforms that are being proposed by both Congress and local lawmakers throughout the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last month

"It addresses all aspects of the use of force and it is science-based, designed to make sure that sort of thing never happens and it found to be completely unacceptable," said Stewart.

It includes the ban of things like chokeholds, demands officers to give a verbal warning before firing a weapon, report when physical or deadly force is threatened and no bans the firing a gun at a suspect inside a moving vehicle.

"We need to enact them not later, right now. The people are crying out for action and that’s what they should get," said Stewart.

House Bill 2291 is expected to be heard on the House Floor this week.