The Washington, DC, district council on Tuesday approved a package of police reforms, days after protests against police brutality and racism in the capital and across the United States.
The emergency legislation approved by the council came unanimously, while several cities revisited the police approach, but did not reach the level of calls by some civil rights activists to “withhold funding from the city’s police departments.”
The legislation prohibits the use of neck shackles as used with George Floyd, and requires the disclosure of the names and photos taken by cameras attached to officers’ bodies after “the death of a rib in which a police officer or excessive use of force”.
The Metropolitan Police Department is also prohibited, among other measures, from hiring people with a documented history of police misconduct, and places restrictions on non-lethal force and the possession of military weapons police departments.
Robert Washington, a member of the Washington District Council, commented, “There is absolutely no question whether we have to reform the police significantly. The only question is whether we and our police commanders are prepared for that challenge.”
The killing of an African American citizen by the police during his arrest led to massive demonstrations in the United States and a number of countries in the world, against violence and racial discrimination.