TRENTON, NJ  – As rallies and demonstrations in response to the death of George Floyd continue across the US, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) is proposing legislation that would require enforcement of an updated model use of force policy by each law enforcement agency in the state; require a Civilian Complaint Review Board in each municipality, and a resolution condemning police brutality.

Floyd was killed at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer who has since been charged with murder. While protests across Jersey City and in most of New Jersey have been mostly peaceful, two arrests were made locally Thursday night, including one when a man armed with a knife allegedly confronted police officers. 

“George Floyd is unfortunately just one horrifying tragedy in a long, long line of lives lost to senseless violence, McKnight, who also serves as Chair of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee said. “His is not the first case that we’ve seen recorded by a cell phone video or played through the media, but I want to do all I can to make sure his death is not in vain and that we make sweeping changes to end excessive use of force by police officers.”

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McKnight said that she wants to ensure there is a system of checks and balances in place to deter police brutality, especially toward Black lives and hopes to work with Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal to this end. The legislation proposed, she said, is the first step to clarifying guidelines of what can and what absolutely cannot be done by police while interacting with the community.

“Putting guidelines in place to regulate use of force is just one major pillar of the holistic police reform necessary to improve police and community relations in the Black community,” continued McKnight who added that she also wants local government leaders to re-evaluate their budgets as it relates to reallocating funding to critical community and social services. 

“It will take a collaborative effort from the local, state and federal levels to bring about comprehensive change in the wake of the death of George Floyd and so many other Black lives that have been lost around the country at the hands of police officers, and I welcome all stakeholders to the table.”

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