WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — For the first time since the death of George Floyd, the Senate held a hearing Tuesday to address policing reforms.
Right now, Republicans and Democrats are drafting their plans on how to hold police more accountable for misconduct.
“I just looked with those cold-heart eyes as he took the life out of that man,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said.
With the image of the officer who killed Floyd seared into his mind, Durbin called on Republicans to join Democrats in adopting bold changes to stop police abuse.
“This is our moment,” Durbin said.
Democratic Senators insisted their Justice in Policing Act is the best choice to deliver changes that protesters around the country are demanding.
“How many people have to die in our streets to get us there,” Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J., said. “I think the time should be now for us to make bold change or we will be back here again.”
But Most Republicans cautioned that the Democrats’ plan goes too far.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says he’s sticking by the GOP bill and pointed to his state as a model for addressing the problem on it’s own.
“It brings additional accountability to Iowa’s law enforcement officers by creating stronger restrictions on the use of chokeholds,” Grassley said.
Republican lawmakers will unveil their plan on Wednesday, including some of the reforms already in Democratic bill.
But it leaves out reforms to help victims sue police — A non-starter for the president.
“Police run straight into harms way,” President Donald Trump said.
Earlier in the day, Trump signed an executive order to ban some use of chokeholds, create a national database to track police conduct and increase grants for training.
Democrats say the executive order does not go far enough and are hoping to gain more bi-partisan support for their plan.