Police Overhaul Unlikely by Biden’s Deadline, White House Says

The White House acknowledged on Friday that lawmakers are unlikely to pass an overhaul of policing practices in the U.S. by President Joe Biden’s deadline, the May 25 anniversary of George Floyd’s killing by a White police officer in Minneapolis.

“What we’ve seen from the negotiators -- and we’ve been in close touch with the negotiators as well -- is that they still feel progress is being made,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

She added: “Yes, it’s unlikely -- as they’ve conveyed as well -- we’re going to meet the timeline that the president outlined in his speech.”

House Democrats passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in March, but a similar bill hasn’t passed the Senate. The measure would ban choke holds and federal no-knock drug warrants, eliminate the liability protection for law enforcement officers, prohibit racial and religious profiling and establish a national standard for police department operations.

Lawmakers in both parties say they remain optimistic a deal can be struck, but they haven’t agreed on how best to bolster accountability for police officers accused of using excessive force or violating the constitutional rights of suspects.

The legislation followed last year’s killing of Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis. Floyd’s killing, recorded on video, sparked protests worldwide and gave new urgency to discussions about racial inequities and police treatment of minorities. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was convicted last month on second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.

A group of lawmakers from both parties and both chambers of Congress continue to work on a compromise but have said that the Tuesday anniversary isn’t a realistic deadline.

“The most important thing is that we have a bill that hits the president’s desk, not the date that it does,” Representative Karen Bass of California, who’s leading Democrats’ efforts on the bill, told reporters on Tuesday.

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