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Rep. Flores worried politics could derail police reform efforts

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 11:05 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Lawmakers in the House passed a new bill aimed at police reform Thursday. It would limit legal protections for police, create a national database of excessive-force incidents, and ban police chokeholds, among other changes.

Only three Republicans voted for the bill, including Texas Congressman Will Hurd. Rep. Bill Flores voted no and says politics are getting in the way of meaningful reform.

“It’s got one really big flaw in it that would basically wipe out our police departments in our communities. It ends qualified immunity. Without qualified immunity you will find no person who wants to be a police officer because they will be sued for every traffic stop,” said Rep. Flores.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing act would amend qualified immunity, limiting as a defense in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer or state correctional officer. While Flores voted against that specific bill, he says it’s still on the table, among other things.

“We should have increased use of body cams, we should have studies on the use of deadly force, we should look at when no-knock warrants should or should not be used. We can even look at if qualified immunity is being used correctly or not. Those are common sense.”

The congressman also addressed President Donald Trump’s comments from over the weekend that we need to “slow the testing down.”

“Well, I think we need to continue ramping up testing. Our goal is to get to 900,000 tests a day and we’ve come a long way toward that. We’re testing well over half a million people a day. We need to continue along that line.”

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