Lawmakers Attain A Bipartisan Settlement On Police Reform : NPR

0
48

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., Sen. Tim Scott, RS.C., and Sen. Cory Booker, DN.J. speak to reporters after meeting in May about police reform legislation. The trio announced a tentative deal on Thursday evening. Drew Angerer / Getty Images Hide caption

Toggle caption

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., Sen. Tim Scott, RS.C., and Sen. Cory Booker, DN.J. speak to reporters after meeting in May about police reform legislation. The trio announced a tentative deal on Thursday evening.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Washington, DC lawmakers have reached a tentative, bipartisan agreement on police reform after months of closely watched debates on the issue.

Sens. Tim Scott, RS.C., and Cory Booker, DN.J., and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., Announced the agreement Thursday evening.

“After months of work in good faith, we have agreed on a framework that addresses the most important issues of bipartisan police reform,” said a joint statement by the legislature.

“There is more work to be done on the final bill and nothing will be agreed until everything is agreed. We look forward to continuing our work over the next few weeks to get a final proposal across the finish line.”

The exact details of the plan were not immediately clear.

Police say the department's low morale and control are driving them away

“It's an outrage”: Biden outlines new steps to curb increasing gun violence

The question of reforming qualified immunity to make it easier to sue police officers on allegations of brutality was a sticking point in the negotiations. The police’s use of chokeholds was another controversial provision.

Efforts to reform the U.S. police force come after several years of increasing pressure to better understand and regulate the way police officers interact with the communities they patrol.

The high profile deaths of several blacks – many unarmed – by police – who in some notable cases were white – were the catalyst for the police reform movement.

The Democrat-run house had approved the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act – named after one of those blacks killed by the police – in early March, and President Biden had hoped Congress would end reform efforts by the first anniversary of Floyd’s death would say goodbye to May.

But Bass had said at the time that “getting a substantive law” is “much more important than a specific date”.

Floyd’s killer, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, is due to be sentenced to prison on Friday.

The issue of police reform has divided the nation across party lines, with progressives accusing the right to maintain an outdated and overly powerful law enforcement apparatus. Conservatives say the left blamed the institution for the actions of some officials and turned the issue of police support and “blue life” into more ammunition for the ongoing culture war.