Bipartisan police reform efforts in the wake of high-profile incidents of police violence have officially ended.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) didn’t hide his disappointment from the media after negotiations with his Democratic colleague New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker failed to achieve consensus more than one year after the death of George Floyd.
Sens. Scott and Booker, both black Americans, were critical brokers in the debate. Before going public with the news the talks had ended, Booker informed Scott over the phone.
Per CBS News:
“Unfortunately, even with this law enforcement support and further compromises we offered, there was still too wide a gulf with our negotiating partners and we faced significant obstacles to securing a bipartisan deal,” he said.
Booker told reporters that negotiators were not making “meaningful progress” on certain areas.
“The effort from the very beginning was to get police reform that would raise professional standards, police reform that would create a lot more transparency, and then police reform that would create accountability, and we’re not able to come to agreements on those three big areas,” Booker said.
According to reports, Booker and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) presented Scott with an offer on behalf of congressional Democrats that would have banned the use of chokeholds, no-knock warrants, limited the use of military equipment by state and local law enforcement and created a database to track complaints of alleged police misconduct.
Scott said Wednesday morning that negotiators, including Democratic Representative Karen Bass, met Tuesday to discuss the measure. In a statement of his own, he said he was “deeply disappointed that Democrats have once again squandered a crucial opportunity to implement meaningful reform to make our neighborhoods safer and mend the tenuous relationship between law enforcement and communities of color.”