Texas Senate approves police reform aimed at excessive force

As the neck of a defenseless George Floyd was mashed beneath the knee of Derek Chauvin, fellow officers were all but silent and rendered complicit in the killing by their refusal to intervene.

Here in the victim's home state, that degree of inaction and indifference on the part of by-standing law enforcement has moved a massive step closer to becoming a crime.

"We all knew what happened. We all knew what took place, but I can assure my brothers. The leadership in this state, the leadership in this state is not going to stand-by," said State Senator Boris Miles.

Senate Bill 68 authored by Miles, a Houston Democrat, will require peace officers to intercede when they see fellow cops using excessive force and immediately report what they've witnessed.

"George Floyd may have still been alive today had this law been put in place," said Miles.


With the full support of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Miles's measure drew bi-partisan backing and unanimous approval becoming the first significant police reform to pass either chamber thus far in the Texas legislative session.

"Hopefully this will send a message to law enforcement that we are not going to allow fellow law enforcement to abuse, to oppress or in this particular case with George Floyd to kill somebody in their presence and think you are going to get away with it," said Miles in an interview with FOX 26.

For Miles, one of just two Black lawmakers in the Texas Senate, delivering protection from excessive use of force by rogue cops, is a deeply personal crusade.


He first fought for the measure 14 years ago after the notorious HPD beating of Chad Holley - and Miles represents the 3rd Ward neighborhood where George Floyd grew to manhood.

"And in the spirit of him, I’m just happy to be bringing something home to let his parents and family know that we are thinking about him, and we know what happened, and we are going to do something about it so it doesn’t happen to another Black boy in the community," said Miles.

In a legislative sense, the anti-excessive force measure is just halfway home. SB 68 moves now to the Texas House for consideration.