US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to police chokeholds as “a lynching” Monday evening and said she’s confident Republican lawmakers will agree to ban them.
Her comments come as Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are working to advance two competing police reform bills, with the Democratic legislation going further in several respects by banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants.
White House officials have been coordinating with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the sole black Republican senator, who is spearheading the GOP’s legislative effort.
“I can’t imagine they wouldn’t have a ban on chokeholds. Let’s get reasonable,” Pelosi told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“A chokehold is a lynching. That’s a strangulation. It’s a lynching. I think that is almost like the lowest common denominator, but again I will leave it up to my negotiators, because as you know in a negotiation, it’s not what’s in or out, it’s the sum total of the different impact that the legislation will have in justice and policing,” she said.
The negotiations over police reform follow weeks of national unrest over police brutality and racism that began after the death of George Floyd.