Tim Scott shares racist and threatening messages he's received over police reform bill

Tim Scott shares racist and threatening messages he's received over police reform bill
© Bonnie Cash

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottGOP senator calls Biden's COVID-19 relief plan a 'non-starter' GOP senator questions constitutionality of an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office Biden's minimum wage push faces uphill battle with GOP MORE (R-S.C.) shared racist and threatening messages he’s received in recent days over the GOP police reform bill during a closed-door lunch with Senate Republicans on Tuesday. 

Scott, the only Black GOP senator, is leading the party's police reform effort, and he's gotten multiple hateful and racist voicemails that have been reviewed by NBC News. The messages included profanity, threats on the senator’s life and references to Confederate flags and the Ku Klux Klan. 

The network noted one message called Scott an “Uncle Tom” and another said he was going to die because he is a Black man in the South.


Scott’s office reportedly gave all threatening emails and voicemails to the U.S. Capitol Police, and at least two of his colleagues have proposed that he obtain extra security, which is being considered, a spokesman from his office told NBC News.  

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFinance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday Democrats swear in three senators to gain majority Yellen champions big spending at confirmation hearing MORE (R-Iowa) reacted to messages on Twitter, saying he was “shocked.”


Lawmakers sometimes receive death threats when they are involved in high-profile debates. Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (R-Maine) received increased security during the contentious process to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughLIVE INAUGURATION COVERAGE: Biden signs executive orders; press secretary holds first briefing Harris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Why we need Section 230 more than ever MORE.

Several people have been caught making threats against lawmakers in recent years, including a white supremacist in Georgia who pleaded guilty in 2018 to threatening both Scott and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNRSC chair says he'll back GOP incumbents against Trump primary challengers Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader US Chamber of Commerce to Biden, Congress: Business community 'ready to help' MORE (D-N.Y.). 

A Florida man was sentenced to two decades in prison after he mailed explosives to Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris takes up temporary residence at Blair House Amanda Gorman captures national interest after inauguration performance Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory BookerSenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration Officials brace for second Trump impeachment trial MORE (D-N.J.), former President Obama, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenRev. Barber says best way to undercut extremism is with honesty Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US Overnight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 MORE and former presidential candidate Tom SteyerTom SteyerOn The Trail: The political losers of 2020 Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Late donor surges push election spending projections to new heights MORE, among others. 

Scott’s police reform bill would allow the federal government to withhold funds from departments if police don’t improve data collection, training, de-escalation of situations and the duty to intervene. Democrats have condemned the bill saying it is “irrevocably flawed” and doesn’t go far enough.

Senate Democrats plan to block Scott's bill during a Wednesday vote, leaving the possibility for a bipartisan compromise up in the air.