Democrats kneel in silence at US Congress to pay tribute to George Floyd

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Silence was observed for eight minutes and 46 seconds. (File)

Washington:

Democrats knelt in silent tribute to George Floyd at the US Congress on Monday before unveiling a package of sweeping police reforms in response to the murder of African Americans by law enforcement.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were joined by two dozen lawmakers in the Emancipation Hall of Congress, named after slaves who helped erect the US Capitol in the 18th century.

They knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds to mark the length of time a white policeman wedged his knee on the neck of the 46-year-old Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis on May 25 sparked mass protests against injustice racial.

Pelosi and the other senior Democratic leaders, accompanied by members of the Black Congressional Caucus, said their bill was aimed at creating “significant structural change that protects the right of every American to security and fair justice”.

The legislation aims to “put an end to police brutality, hold the police responsible, improve transparency in the maintenance of order”, according to a press release.

The “Justice and Police Services Law”, which was introduced in both chambers of Congress, would facilitate the prosecution of officers and rethink the way they are recruited and trained.

Its chances of passing to the Senate, where the Republicans hold the majority, are very uncertain.

President Donald Trump, who is running for re-election in November, accused his rival Democrat Joe Biden of seeking to “fund the police” while posing as the president of “law and order”.

(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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