WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday promised legislation on racial profiling and other issues raised by the police killing of George Floyd, while other lawmakers warned against using troops to quell protests sweeping across the United States.
House Democrats are mulling proposals on a number of topics. But Pelosi described the racial profiling of suspects as a “universal” issue “that we must be rid of.”
“In a matter of just a short time … decisions will be made and I think the American people will be well served,” she said.
Pelosi and other Democrats attacked President Donald Trump’s handling of protests after teargas and rubber bullets were used to clear protesters from outside the White House, just before he marched through the area and posed at a church with a Bible.
“The nation needs calm and steady leadership, a sure hand and a big heart, qualities that President Trump has never displayed,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said.
Schumer called for passage of law enforcement reform legislation by July 4.
Protests have intensified over the killing of Floyd, a black man who died as a white Minneapolis policeman kneeled on his neck. The officer has since been charged with murder.
But protests have devolved into violence and looting in many locations, and Trump has threatened to deploy federal troops if local officials fail to end the violence.
Some Republicans expressed reservations. “That should be our last resort,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally. “We need to restore order. But using active-duty military troops in circumstances like this if a fairly rare occurrence.”
Representative Elissa Slotkin, a former defense official, warned against using the military for political objectives. “This is a dangerous path for our institutions, our military and our nation,” the Democrat from Michigan tweeted.
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