Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., criticized Democrats for blocking his 2020 police reform bill while also calling for widespread changes to law enforcement.
Scott, the Senate Republican’s lead negotiator on police reform, specifically pushed back against Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., for suggesting Republicans were uninterested in pursuing the reform.
“Yesterday on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ Sen. Durbin asked Sen. Booker and I to come back to the table and start talking about policing in America,” Scott said on the Senate floor, The Hill reported. “I never left the table.
“But it was Sen. Durbin who filibustered my JUSTICE Act.”
Further emphasizing Durbin was responsible for canning his legislation that would have barred police chokeholds, Scott said he “called the effort to make de-escalation training more available a token piece of legislation.”
“Politics too often gets in the way of doing what every American knows is common sense; here we find ourselves again,” Scott continued, “having the same conversation with no action having happened so far.”
The South Carolina senator’s comments come in the wake of national upheaval surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols, 29, at the hands of five Black police officers during a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee, NPR reported.
The five officers were arrested Jan. 24 and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression. Several EMTs who immediately responded to Nichols have also been fired.
“Their actions or inactions on the scene that night do not meet the expectations of the Memphis Fire Department and are not reflective of the outstanding service the men and women of the … [MFD] provide daily in our community,” the department said of the terminated EMTs.
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