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Florida House passes bill requiring officers to intervene if colleague uses excessive force

Flashing Lights on Police Car

A white Republican, Rep. Cord Byrd, and a Black Democrat, Rep, Fentrice Driskell both co-sponsored a new bill in which a law enforcement officer would be required to intervene if another officer uses excessive force, and all officers would have to receive more training to avoid excessive force.

The bill was unanimously passed by the Florida House on Monday.

Driskell mentioned Floyd and other unarmed Black people who have died during interaction with police, and the feeling that Black communities weren’t being policed fairly. “We marched, we met, we knew that we needed to do something this session in response to our communities’ outcry for help,” she said.

Driskell also said police officers have died on duty in a recognition of the sacrifices they make. “If we can build more trust between these two communities, that’s how we build a better relationship,” she said.

The bill would set statewide standards for use of force; alternatives to use of force, including de-escalation techniques; and limit chokeholds to situations when an officer believes an immediate threat of serious bodily injury or death to the officer or another person.