Scott: ‘I think we’ll find’ a ‘path forward’ on bipartisan police reform
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the Republican appointed to lead a group of GOP senators on police reform legislation, said Sunday that he thinks lawmakers will find a path forward for bipartisan legislation on the issue.
“So the question is, is there a path forward that we take a look at the necessity of eliminating bad behavior within our law enforcement community? Is there a path forward? I think we’ll find that,” Scott said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“So there are approaches that are very similar and somewhat different – at the same time. I think we’re going to get to a bill that actually becomes law,” he added.
Scott acknowledged some of the contention between Republican and Democratic backed ideas, but he said he hopes if “we’re that close on making progress” that lawmakers “don’t let partisanship get in the way.”
Scott said Thursday he will be introducing a bill on police reform this week. It follows Democrats in the House and Senate unveiling sweeping legislation that includes a ban on chokeholds.
Scott suggested he backs the ban on chokeholds, telling NBC that chokeholds are a “policy whose time has come and gone.”
The Democrats’ sweeping bill also called for banning no-knock warrants in drug cases. It would also create a central data hub for police use of force, make lynching a federal crime and end so-called qualified immunity which shields officers from liability for certain acts performed in the line of duty.
Scott said it would be “difficult to establish” a standard for use of force.
“I think it’s really difficult to establish a codified in law, standard for use of force. There’s millions of scenarios that play out. It’s one of the reasons why what we have tried to achieve through the legislation is finding the best practices around use of force around the country, and then provide that clarity and guidance for those departments who may need to have a better, better perspective on use of force,” he said. “So we’re getting at it, but I’m not sure we’re going to ever codify in law a use of force standard.”
Scott also pushed back on the banning no-knock warrants, adding that there’s “no actual database on no knocks.”
“We don’t know when it’s used, to whom it’s used against. We don’t know the race, the sex, the age. We know nothing about no knocks, except for the Breonna Taylor situation that was tragic without question,” Scott said, referring to the woman who was fatally shot in Louisville after officers came into her home with a no-knock warrant in a drug case.
A lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family reportedly claims that the officers were searching for a man who did not live in Taylor’s apartment complex.
“So I want to take the Breonna Taylor case and have an act that requires more data to be provided so that we can actually come out with policies that are consistent with the best use of no knocks or the elimination of no knocks,” Scott said. “We just don’t have the information to get there.”