Congressman Horsford promises action on police culture

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Video showing Memphis cops brutally beating 29-year-old Tire Nichols has raised calls for cultural shifts in American policing once again.

The video provoked somber reactions from leaders in the Las Vegas community on Friday, including Democratic Congressman Steven Horsford, who represents Nevada’s 4th Circuit.

“He was 80 meters from his mother’s house when he said, ‘Mom!’ shouted. when he was hit,” Horsford said of Nichols. “No one should have to die in a situation like this, and none of us are safe when those are the kinds of practices that happen.”

Last Congress, the House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to address strangleholds and warrants, but it didn’t go anywhere in the Senate.

At the time, qualified immunity for police officers was a bone of contention in legislation. I asked Horsford if Democrats would be willing to drop this issue in order to move the needle.

FULL INTERVIEW: Congressman says Tire Nichols death shows need to address ‘culture of policing’

“I will not negotiate in a media interview,” Horsford said. “I’m ready to speak with my colleagues about the principles we must have to protect our communities. And as I said at the beginning of my statement, I support law enforcement. I support providing them with the funding and resources they need The lion’s share of men and women who wear uniform are doing a honorable job of protecting our communities. I want them to get the support they need in rooting out bad practices where they exist, and we should all agree that this is the right thing to do.”

As chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Horsford is working to build bipartisan support for a comprehensive bill addressing policing culture.

And as Congress works to introduce this sweeping bill, Horsford wants President Joe Biden to pass executive measures that suggest fixing the police culture. He says this was a factor that contributed to the violence displayed by some police officers.

“Nobody should have to die because of bad police practices,” Horsford told KTNV. “And that’s why the Congressional Black Caucus is working hard to build bipartisan support for a comprehensive Policing Culture Bill.”

Meanwhile, Horsford said he would like the president to take center stage on the issue, beginning with the State of the Union address. He invited Tire Nichols’ parents to attend the address as his guests, and they accepted.