Talks break down on police reform bill named after George Floyd

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A nationwide policing reform bill named after George Floyd has fallen apart in Congress.

Senate negotiators said bipartisan congressional talks on overhauling policing practices have ended without an agreement.

“We need President [Joe] Biden to truly act on this," said Jacari Harris, executive director of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation. "There’s so many victims people we know, people we don’t know, names we’ve said, names we haven’t said that would have been positively impacted if this policing act was in place."

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has told reporters that bargainers were not making progress on issues like whether to hold individual officers personally liable for abusive behavior.

Booker says there were also unresolved differences over raising professional standards and collecting data on police use-of-force.

"Our efforts on police reform was on providing more resources and then giving concessions on policy positions necessary to do the right thing for the community," Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said.

Scott said he was "deeply disappointed" that Democrats rejected a deal on some issues.

The intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis is where the world learned Floyd’s name in the deadly encounter with Minneapolis Police in May 2020, and visitors continue to come to the intersection.

"The people who come here from all over the world have shown me support and love, it’s become part of my healing process," Angela Harrelson, Floyd’s aunt, said.

Harrelson reflected on bipartisan congressional talks on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 after they ended without a compromise in the Senate following approval from the U.S. House.

"It is a disappointment for not just the family but the Black and brown community," Harrelson said.

Just down the street from 38th and Chicago is the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization, where Tommy McBrayer works as a community organizer.

"The movement is still going to be the movement because you still have the people," McBrayer said. "Of course we’re disappointed…we’re just trying to add our ‘two cents’ to help things run more smoothly."

McBrayer hopes lawmakers continue conversations over law enforcement reform.

"It doesn’t mean we are giving up,” Harrelson said. “I know deep inside it will happen, it’s all in time, it’s all in God’s time, people know that bill deserves to be in place, it deserves to be there."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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