A bipartisan deal for police reform is close to done on Capitol Hill among key negotiators, according to those familiar with the discussions.
A bipartisan deal for police reform is close to done among key negotiators on Capitol Hill, according to those familiar with the discussions.
supported a reform package last yearbut now don’t want to be tagged as soft on crime.Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., has said he wants a deal on police reform by the end of June. Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, is confident he can bring at least 10 of his GOP colleagues along with him to support a bill and break a potential filibuster.
From left, Rep. Karen Bass, Sen. Tim Scott and Sen. Cory Booker after a meeting with Rep. James Clyburn about police reform legislation on May 18. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., have negotiated with Scott but face pressure from progressive groups to push for measures that, if left out, could make it hard to get enough Democratic votes for a compromise.
Pressure from the Biden White House on Democratic lawmakers will likely be crucial in getting a final deal over the finish line. To date, the administration has been happy to let Scott serve as the public face of the bill, since that increases the chances Republicans might vote for it, even as Booker has kept a direct line of communication open with President Biden and with Vice President Kamala Harris. headtopics.com
Scott, Booker and Bass have reached agreement on a number of issues about how to provide better training to police to help them deescalate situations and avoid violence, virtually eliminate chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and a host of other issues.
The two most difficult issues outstanding — qualified immunity and what’s known as Section 242 — have to do with how police officers are held accountable for bad actions. But there is also a clear road map for lawmakers around these two roadblocks, if they can get their respective sides to sign off.
On the issue of qualified immunity, which protects police officers and other government officials from most civil lawsuits, there are many signs that a compromise proposed by Scott would be enough to get most Democrats onboard if Booker and Bass endorse it. Scott’s idea is to make it easier to sue police departments in civil court, but not individual officers.
Story continuesEven the Fraternal Order of Police, the biggest police union in the country, has signaled that it would accept a deal with Scott’s compromise proposal.“If police officers are protected by the doctrine of qualified immunity and others have to deal with the lawsuits, not the officers, then we’re fine with it,” Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, headtopics.com
CNN last week.A protest for racial justice at the Ohio statehouse in Columbus on May 6. (Gaelen Morse/Reuters)Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he would support Scott’s bill as well. And Scott has the backing of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., which goes a long way with Republican senators.Read more: Yahoo News »
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