Mourners gather to honor George Floyd as push to reform U.S. police intensifies

Congressional Democrats wearing African kente cloths knelt in silence Monday in tribute to George Floyd before unveiling sweeping legislation to combat police violence and racial injustice.

(House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying):

"We cannot settle for anything less than transformative structural change."

The Democrats’ bill comes amid increasing pressure for dramatic changes to policing after two weeks of mass protests - sparked by the death of Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

It also came as mourners gathered in Houston, Texas, Monday to pay their respects to Floyd, whose casket was on display.

Anger by demonstrators is giving way to a growing determination to make the 46-year-old's case a tipping point in race relations and a lightning rod for change to the criminal justice system.

The bill includes a ban on chokeholds and requires nationwide use of body cameras.

It would also allow victims of misconduct to sue police officers and would facilitate independent investigations of police departments with patterns of misconduct. Its reception in the Republican-controlled Senate is unclear.

The legislation does not - however - call for the de-funding of police departments, which some protesters have been calling for.

(PROTESTOR shouting):

"Defund the police!"

In Minneapolis, where Floyd died, a majority of city council members have pledged to abolish the police department in favor of a community-led safety model.


The city's mayor, Jacob Frey, does not support that move.

He was met with a chorus of boos over the weekend after telling protesters he didn't support abolishing the police department when they asked if he would defund it.

And in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would shift an unspecified amount of money out of the police budget and reallocate it to youth and social services in communities of color.