On Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy expressed support for a federal ban on police choke holds — a key passage of the police reform proposal drafted by Democrats to overhaul police procedures in America.
A federal ban on choke holds would prohibit police officers from restraining someone by restricting their breathing. The Economist/YouGov Poll indicates that such a ban would receive bipartisan support from the public. Three-quarters (75%) of registered voters favor it, including majorities of Democrats (87%), Independents (69%), and Republicans (63%).
The House of Representatives’ bill was written as Americans continue to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer after the officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, even as he was handcuffed. McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that there should be “severe consequences” for police officers who perform choke holds on an individual who is already restrained.
The House bill will need approval from the Republican-led Senate and sign off from President Donald Trump in order to be enacted. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was non-committal on Tuesday about what, if any, police reform measures his caucus would be willing to support.