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Republican and Democrat Lawmakers Reach Bipartisan Preliminary Agreement on Police Reform Bill

Three bipartisan lawmakers leading negotiations on a comprehensive police reform package have reached an initial bipartisan agreement on the issue, they announced on June 24, bringing them closer to passing the important bill.

Sens. Tim Scott, (R-S.C.), and Cory Booker, (D-N.J.), and Rep. Karen Bass, (D-Calif.) touted their progress, which came after months of negotiations, in a joint statement on Thursday afternoon.

“After months of working in good faith, we have reached an agreement on a framework addressing the major issues for bipartisan police reform,” the lawmakers said. “There is still more work to be done on the final bill, and nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.”

“Over the next few weeks, we look forward to continuing our work toward getting a finalized proposal across the finish line,” they added.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also issued a short statement Thursday night, saying that President Joe Biden "is grateful to Representative Bass, Senator Booker, and Senator Scott for all their hard work on police reform" and "look forward to working with them on the way forward."

The proposed laws would prohibit police tactics such as chokeholds and arrest warrants against beatings, reduce the legal standards required to convict an officer of misconduct, establish guidelines for police departments across the country, and create national standards for police enforcement. Oversight in an effort to enhance accountability.

It would also ban "qualified immunity," the powerful legal doctrine that protects law enforcement and other government officials from liability in civil lawsuits.

Republican lawmakers argued that "qualified immunity” was necessary and that any attempt to remove it would further complicate police work and harm recruitment efforts.

Some civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers have said the changes are necessary to ensure accountability among law enforcement officials.

GOP generally supported watered-down action such as the Justice Act introduced by Scott last year, which called for reducing the use of chokes, increasing federal reporting requirements for use of force and non-strike orders, strengthening escalation training methods and tactics, increasing the use of body cameras and reforming law enforcement hiring and disciplinary practices to reduce The number of "bad" cops in police departments.

CTM News

25 June 2021


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