Breaking News
More () »

George Floyd's nephew, former law enforcement officer react to U.S. House passage of George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

It's named after George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A comprehensive law enforcement reform bill passed the U.S. House on Wednesday. Jacksonville-area Congressman Al Lawson co-sponsored it.

It's named after George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

"He was like, 'Man, that looks like Floyd right there. That looks like Unc!' I broke down immediately," Cortez Rice said.

Cortez Rice says he watched his uncle's death live on social media.

"It was like he was a sacrifice," Rice said. "I love him dearly, and God took him. It was his time, and it was like, I'm going to make something happen from this."

Rice describes his uncle as caring, loving, and giving. 

"I'd give him rides to work," Rice said. "He offered to pay me for gas, I said no, and when he got out of the car, I saw a $20 bill in the window."

Now U.S. senators will look at the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act after it passed the U.S. House.

“Most of these bills are designed in such a way that whoever puts them up, Democrats or Republicans, they shoot for the stars on it, and then whatever they get out of it, they’re happy with it. They may realize they’re not going to get everything. I think that’s going to be the case with this one as well," Mark Baughman said. 

First Coast News crime and safety analyst Mark Baughman agrees with some parts of the bill, including banning chokeholds.

"Police officers have other options, such as tazers," Baughman said. "When you cut off the blood flow to their brain, who knows what kind of health issues they have leading up to that."

Other parts of the bill Baughman agrees with include banning no-knock warrants and establishing a national police misconduct registry.

Baughman does not agree with eliminating qualified immunity, which protects officers from being sued for actions while taken on the job. Baughman also doesn't agree with prohibiting racial profiling because he thinks that would be hard to enforce in a bill and making lynching a federal crime because he thinks that's outdated.

This all comes as the trial for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Floyd, is scheduled to begin on Monday.

"He loved his kids, his loved his family, and he loved his community. He wanted people to stop the violence," Rice said.