Law enforcement, community leader react to House passing police reform bill

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — House lawmakers passed a bill this week that would ban chokeholds and end qualified immunity for all law enforcement officers, but local law enforcement and community leaders do not agree with what the bill will do if it’s made into a new law. 

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would also ban no-knock warrants and prohibit racial profiling. 

“It puts more emphasis on accountability as well as transparency,” said Berry Accius, founder of Voice of the Youth. 

Accius says the bill has been a long time coming. 

“If officers are doing negligent things to communities that have been oppressed, to communities or people of color, that they are held to the highest degree of law,” Accius told FOX40. “I don’t think that’s anything too much to ask for.”

Welcoming this potential new law, however, isn’t something Sgt. Kevin Mickelson — president of Sacramento County Deputies Association —  is looking forward to. 

“I could pull my gun and I could shoot them, but I couldn’t place them into the carotid control hold,” Mickelson said. “It’s ignorance, is what it is. People are just ignorant as to what the tools of the trade are.”

And he’s not the only one who feels that way. 

The Placer County Deputy Sheriffs Association president says a majority of law enforcement officials are following the rules and if the bill passes, getting rid of qualified immunity will just end up hurting good officers. 

“Bad police officers should be held accountable. That’s something we can all agree with. The language in this bill, isn’t a step in that direction,” said Deputy Noah Frederito. 

Even though the House passed the bill, it still needs to pass through the Senate before it reaches President Joe Biden. 

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