US Senate Republicans Launch Police Reform Bill to Rival Democrats

U.S. Senate Republicans unveiled a new police reform bill on Wednesday as a rival to more sweeping Democratic legislation, as Congress struggled to address racial disparities in law enforcement three weeks after the death of George Floyd.

The Republican-led Senate will turn to the bill next week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a news conference, as Democrats in the House of Representatives prepared to advance their own legislation to a floor vote expected by July 4.

Senator Tim Scott, the chamber’s only black Republican, who crafted the bill, said the legislation would create greater safety for both suspects and police. “We hear you. We’re listening to your concerns,” he told the news conference.

Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25, after a policeman knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, was the latest in a string of killings of African Americans by U.S. police and it sparked widespread protests and fresh calls for reforms.

The Republican and Democratic bills address similar issues. Both make lynching a federal hate crime, encourage the use of body cameras and seek better training standards for police.

But it is not clear that Congress will agree on how to act.

Democrats claim the Republican plan does not go far enough, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Democratic legislation would go nowhere in his chamber, dismissing it as “typical Democratic overreach.”

Unlike the Democratic legislation, the Republican bill would not allow victims of misconduct to sue police, ban police chokeholds outright or create new rules to restrict the use of lethal force.

Instead, Republicans rely on the use of federal grant money to encourage police departments to adopt reforms.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an order that would steer federal money to police departments that agree to outside review and limit chokeholds.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Andy Sullivan, Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis)

Responses

  1. The OREO SELL OUT and Rephucklican

    house Negro is making his master very happy.

  2. Nothing on the news about the 92 year old who was coldcocked by a black who has over 100 crime tap sheet.

    Nothing on the news or IJR about the store owner who’s store was broken into by a black thug in the CHAZ Area and the police refused to enter the area to help the store owner.

    Nothing about the gang of 5 black thugs who jumped a guy coming out of a grocery store.

    All these incidents happened in the last few days and no fake media coverage because it was true media.

    Bills need to be created to severely deal with savage thugs not ignore them.

  3. The only law that REALLY needs an adjustment is qualified immunity.

    This other stuff IS good (and I’m sad some of this wasn’t already being done), but I’d bet there would be a lot less police brutality if there were actaul consequences to those who did it and those who didn’t stop it.

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