Senate

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

Bonnie Cash

Sen. Tim Scott (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 Grassley (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 Collins (R-Maine) received increased security during the contentious process to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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 Schumer (D-N.Y.). 

A Florida man was sentenced to two decades in prison after he mailed explosives to Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and former presidential candidate Tom Steyer, 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.

Tags Brett Kavanaugh Charles Schumer Chuck Grassley Chuck Schumer Cory Booker death threats Joe Biden NBC News police reform Senate Republicans Susan Collins Threats Tim Scott Tom Steyer Twitter U.S. Capitol Police
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