Congress explores options to reform police and combat racial injustice

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(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

WASHINGTON D.C. (KXAN) — Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn is calling on Congress to put together a commission to examine legislative options that will combat racial injustice and reform police departments across the country.

U.S. Senator Cornyn says when he met with George Floyd’s family in Houston, they asked for one thing.

“They are from Texas so they said they are expecting Texas-sized justice for their brother and I said to the best of my ability we will deliver that,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn says ending police brutality against African-Americans is a top priority, and, to find the right solution, he’s proposing a Congressional Criminal Justice Commission.

“This would allow us while we are doing some of the near term things that we want to do, to also then look at the criminal justice system as a whole and get some recommendations back that we can act on,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn says the commission will take a look at legislative options, like South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott’s police reform bill.

Texas Democrat Congressman Lloyd Doggett believes there’s no time for a working group, saying the Senate should act now. 

“I don’t think we need another commission to study this,” Rep. Doggett said. “I don’t believe that just appointing another committee will solve this problem, it is just a way of postponing the problem.”

Doggett says Americans need action and House Democrats have already delivered by introducing the Justice in Policing Act. Doggett says the act makes it easier to prosecute police misconduct

“(It is) to prevent this kind of thing from happening and if it happens to hold them accountable,” Doggett said.

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to mark up the Democrats’ bill on Wednesday.

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