Here's what's in the police reform bill proposed by Democrats in Congress

Democratic leaders announced Monday a bill that includes banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants
Publish date:
The United States Capitol Building

The United States Capitol Building

Congressional Democrats on Monday announced legislation including sweeping reforms to police departments across the country.

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 would ban chokeholds, such as the one used on George Floyd, prohibit no-knock warrants in certain cases, such as the one officers used to gain entry to Breonna Taylor's home before fatally shooting her, and create a national police misconduct database. 

Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Karen Bass, D-California, told NPR that the legislation is aimed at changing police culture. 

Bass, Rep. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) are sponsoring the bill. 

The bill is "raising the standards, having national certification and raising the level of policing in the United States so that it is like many other professions," Bass told NPR. "The profession that has the power to kill should be a profession that has national standards, is transparent and is accountable to the public."

NPR has uploaded the summary and full text of the bill. 

According to the summary, the bill would:

  • Ban chokeholds
  • Prohibit no-knock warrants in federal drug cases; apply pressure to states and municipalities to follow suit 
  • Create a national police misconduct database with complaints and discipline records
  • Adapt "qualified immunity," the legal doctrine that bars officers from lawsuits, so that plaintiffs can sue for alleged civil rights violations. 
  • Require victims of excessive force or other violations to show that officers "recklessly" deprived them of their rights; rather than showing the actions were "willful" under current law
  • Expand the Justice Department's ability to investigate and prosecute police misconduct
  • Give state attorneys general and the Justice Department's civil rights division the power to subpoena for department-wide evidence in "pattern and practice" investigations 

Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey last week took a series of interim steps to address police brutality in the city's police force, following an injunction filed by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

This included banning chokeholds and neck restraints, and requiring officers to intervene when they see unauthorized use of force by other officers.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

Gary Kubiak

Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announces retirement

Kubiak wraps up a career that has spanned nearly four decades.


Minneapolis police seeks public help finding missing woman

A 63-year-old woman has been missing since Tuesday

coronavirus testing

Don't want to talk to a contact tracer? MN debuts online option after positive test

The department says the survey will allow its staff to keep track of more cases at a faster pace

Family Dollar

Money Gal Coaching: 12 things you are wasting your money on

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

police lights

Three teens charged in Minneapolis robberies

The incidents took place on Saturday in Minneapolis.

covid-19, coronavirus, ppe

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 21

It's the first time in exactly four months that Minnesota has had fewer than 100 COVID patients in intensive care.

icy roads, bad roads

Girl, 16, killed in crash with semi on icy Minnesota road

The crash happened in Dodge County around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

police lights

Road rage incident sees driver punch out man's window, punch him in face

The incident happened in Waite Park Wednesday morning.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

Minneapolis will recover $100K in costs connected to 2019 Trump rally

The Target Center operator said it'll pay the costs over three years.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey confirms run for reelection

He has faced criticism over the city's response to George Floyd's death.


Governor Tim Walz

Walz, POCI Caucus reveal police reform proposals; here's what they are

The plan will be put forward during the special session.


Obama: 'I'm urging every mayor' to reform use-of-force policies

The virtual roundtable also included Minneapolis City Council director Phillipe Cunningham


Walz announces new special session to pass police reform, bonding

Gov. Tim Walz has called a special session that starts Monday.

Minneapolis City Hall

You can now comment on Minneapolis' plans to replace police department

The City Council will next discuss the proposed changes Wednesday.


MN Legislature passes police accountability package in late-night vote

The bill passed the House and Senate in the early hours of Tuesday.

State Capitol

MN lawmakers announce police reform legislation

'It’s time for all hands to come on deck and fundamentally change how police interact with black men and boys," Rep. Moran said.


Thousands sit-in at Capitol to protest police brutality, push for systemic change

The student-led protest maintained a quiet and positive atmosphere.