Rep. Karen Bass on Efforts Towards Police Accountability

Today Joe Biden called on Congress to act now on systemic racism. For starters, he wants to see a bill outlawing police chokeholds on the president’s desk within days. Congresswoman Karen Bass is chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and is coordinating the formulation of new policing legislation in the House of Representatives.

Read Transcript EXPAND

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): First of all, it is wonderful to see so many white young people out protesting in solidarity. The protests are an absolute rainbow. People of ever racial groups are out. But when you do have groups who are not from the area and who are not African-American, then graffitiing and using the names, Black Lives Matter, and all of that as an excuse to push another agenda, whether it’s to the right or the left, I think that’s very unfortunate. You should know that members of the Black Caucus have been working on police accountability issue, I am sad to say, but for decades. The only thing that’s new now is that people have cell phones and that they can actually document abuse and murders that have been taking place forever that African-Americans have been pleading and crying and trying to get policy fixes, that now the entire world can see what goes on. And so, given that members have been working on a legislative package for a long time, we’re pulling those bills together right now, and we will be introducing bills very soon. We have a hearing coming up in Judiciary on Wednesday. The Congressional Black Caucus will be in Washington, D.C., next week. We are attending the memorial service on Thursday in Minneapolis and in Houston on Tuesday. You know, George Floyd was from Houston.


BASS: So, there will be two services. We will be attending all of those while we’re working on pulling our bills together, and we will introduce a comprehensive package on police accountability.

About This Episode EXPAND

Symone Sanders joins Christiane Amanpour to discuss Vice President Joe Biden’s speech in Philadelphia today. Scott Jennings examines President Trump’s response to protests across the U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) explains how she is coordinating the formulation of new policing legislation. The Equal Justice Initiative’s Bryan Stevenson explains the need to change the culture of policing.