Republican Police Reform Bill Stuck In US Senate


Senator Tim Scott said about 70% of his reform provisions align with Democratic proposals


Democrats in the US Senate blocked a closely watched police reform bill on Wednesday, arguing that the Republican measure introduced after the police murder of George Floyd does not go far enough.

Supporters have not reached the 60-55 threshold, 55-45, with only three Democrats joining Republicans to vote to advance legislation.

The deadlock left opposing political parties arguing over the development of new guidelines to combat police brutality after weeks of protests led to a national toll of racial injustice and police responsibility.

Attention is now turning to the House, where the Democrats intend to pass their own more radical police bill on Thursday.

But the Senate’s deadlock highlights the difficulty for a divided Congress to negotiate a compromise on such legislation in the months before the presidential election.

The majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said that his party’s measure was a “first step” that would allow a grounded debate on police reforms, but that the Democrats backed down.

“The only way for Democrats to come to the table is to prefer to keep this urgent matter as a problem with a live campaign rather than pass a bipartisan response,” he said.

The Republican proposal, which President Donald Trump supports, would discourage but not ban tactics like choking, a flash point issue since Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer supported his knee on the neck of the African American man handcuffed for almost nine minutes.

It would provide further training in de-escalation and send information on the use of officers’ force to a national database aimed at eliminating bad police.

But that does not end or limit qualified immunity, the controversial doctrine that protects the police from prosecution for misconduct.

And instead of direct warrants, the republican measure would encourage change by refusing federal subsidies to the police services that do not end strangulation attempts or prohibition warrants.

“The Republican bill does not even attempt ONE major reform to make police officers more guilty of misconduct,” said Senate Leader Chuck Schumer.

The measure is so “irrevocably” imperfect “that it cannot serve as a useful starting point for meaningful reform,” he added.

Trump has accused the Democrats of sinking the Republican bill “because they want to weaken our police” and ending the immunity of the officers.

The President also expressed his opposition to tightening the wording of the bill to hold officers more accountable.

“We will not sacrifice,” said Trump. “We will not do anything to hurt our police.”

The House bill would limit qualified immunity and prohibit suffocations and no-strike warrants, which have been blamed in several cases of lethal force by the police.

Senator Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the chamber and author of the justice law, said that about 70% of his reform provisions were aligned with Democratic proposals.

But he told the Democrats that they would “get zero” of what they wanted unless they came to the negotiating table.

(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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