Sen. Tim Scott (R. SC), was the Republican lead negotiator for police reform legislation. The Democrats’ George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was passed in the House, but languished in Senate. This “nonstarter”, which occurred on Thursday ahead of the White House meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, was called by Scott.
“Reviving the House progressives’ police reform bill is not a good idea. I have been trying to find common ground solutions that are more likely to pass. Solutions to raise funding and train the best to wear the badge. Scott shared his thoughts in a tweet thread.
After a video was released in which Tyre Nichols, a victim of a Memphis police beating, Congressmen have renewed their push for reform. A day after Nichols’ funeral, the Congressional Black Caucus will meet President Joe Biden. They will urge Biden to support reform in his State of the Union speech.
In 2021, Senate Sens. Scott and Cory Booker (D-NJ), were unable reach an agreement on the provisions of the Democratic-led bill. This was prompted by Floyd’s 2020 death after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Scott’s neck.
The legislation, which passed in the Democratic-controlled House, focused on limiting qualified-immunity policies that protect officers accused of misconduct and would have banned chokeholds and limited no-knock warrants. A national registry would have been established to record disciplinary actions against officers.
Reforming qualified immunity was one of the main sticking points. The reforming qualified immunity was a key sticking point for the negotiations. Negotiators reached a deadlock and decided to scrap it. They instead focused on a “slimmed down” version of the legislation. But even that proved too difficult.
Senator from South Carolina, who is the only black Republican in Senate, stated that he believes lawmakers can accomplish “something meaningful” but stressed that lawmakers should return to the drawing board rather than accept a proposal likely to fail this session.