A police reform “stalemate” may be at hand as Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem unwilling to work together on the highly contested issue of police reform. Senate Democrats said they would not even discuss a police reform bill, known as the Just and Unifying Solutions To Invigorate Communities Everywhere Act (JUSTICE Act), presented by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) on Wednesday, claiming it was nothing more than a token attempt at reform. House Democrats will present their own police reform bill, the Justice in Policing Act, on Thursday, which “Republicans have already deemed…a nonstarter.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), said that Democrats decided “to not take crumbs on the table when there is a hunger that America has for real solutions to a very real problem.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) website wrote that the Act is “profoundly flawed” and does nothing to address many of the broken pieces in the system, including qualified immunity and use of force.
“It’s not bold. It’s not courageous…It doesn’t challenge us to come together. What it does is guarantee that the cycle of violence in our country, the cycle of the abuse of civil rights, the cycle of death that has so moved so many Americans will continue.”Cory Booker, New Jersey Senator
Scott pointed out that what he believes to be the Democrats’ decision to “punt this ball until the election,” adding that “the actual problem is not what is being offered, it is who is offering it.” He expressed frustration at their unwillingness to even discuss possible amendments to the bill regarding demands they had, saying, “If you don’t think we’re right, make it better. Don’t walk away.” While agreeing that the Democrats’ bill is too extreme, some believe the JUSTICE Act should have covered the controversial issue of qualified immunity and could have gone further in other measures as well.
“They’re not serious about police reform. Instead, what they’re serious about using police reform as a campaign issue this November. That is despicable.”Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina
FYI Republican @senatortimscott introduced the #JusticeAct Police Reform Bill to the floor yesterday to ban the use of choke holds, no knock warrants, make lynching a federal crime, training on racism, increased penalties for Karen’s, and more but the Democrats voted against it! pic.twitter.com/qURk1g8gaW— Angela Stanton King 🇺🇸 (@theangiestanton) June 25, 2020