Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says action needs to be taken at the federal level to address issues being voiced by multitudes of protesters about police brutality and racism.
Last week’s death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis has sparked demonstrations in cities across Iowa and nationwide. Grassley calls Floyd’s death a “horrific murder.” “I’m outraged. I hope everybody’s outraged,” Grassley says. “I’m saddened and I hope everybody’s saddened that this happened to a fellow American and particularly outraged because it happened by a police officer while three other police officers were standing around watching it happen.”
Grassley, a Republican, says this most recent tragedy is shining a spotlight on problems that must be addressed. “We need a review of how civil liberties are being violated because we’re talking about constitutional rights,” Grassley says. “Chairman Graham on the Judiciary Committee is having a hearing on police use of force and I will be participating in that.”
Grassley says other problems need to be addressed by individual city councils, not by members of congress, as he notes the federal government can’t take over local policing. “Something that’s more at the local level than the federal level, but we have police protocols,” Grassley says. “I’m not sure how uniformly they are but if they’re uniform, how uniformly enforced and practiced are they?”
Policing is different in Wyoming versus New York, Grassley notes, but there’s an overall responsibility to guarantee civil liberties. The officer who was directly involved in Floyd’s death is charged with third-degree murder, among lesser charges. The other three officers were fired.