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Kinzinger: Potential police reform talks likely to fall apart in Congress

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)
Greg Nash
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) is seen during a House Jan. 6 committee hearing on Thursday, July 21, 2022 to focus on former President Trump’s actions during the insurrection.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct former Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s party affiliation.

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said that potential talks over policing reform legislation are likely to fail in Congress, even as the topic moves into the spotlight in the aftermath of Tyre Nichols’s death at the hands of law enforcement in Memphis.

“On the right, it’s all the sudden like we have to back the blue and not talk about any reforms and sometimes on the left it ends up being basically, you saw it to the extreme, defund the police,” Kinzinger said on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Dana Bash. “This may happen here at this moment too.”

Kinzinger was in Congress when George Floyd was killed by police in Minnesota, and saw the resulting George Floyd Justice in Policing Act stall in Congress. On Sunday, he pointed to partisan extremism that lawmakers run to when it comes time to debate policy changes.

“This is a moment where I think if we can actually be like, look, neither side is going to get exactly what they want in policing or in reform but we can make a huge difference,” Kinzinger said. “But everybody’s got to get away from just defaulting to their corners.”

The White House has called for policing reform legislation, but with a slim Democratic majority in the Senate and a GOP majority in the House, passage seems unlikely. 

The attorney for Nichols’s family, Ben Crump, is also calling for the passage of the George Floyd policing reforms. He said Sunday on CNN that lawmakers needed to use the moment of Nichols’s death to pass sweeping police reform.

–Updated at 2:02 p.m.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Adam Kinzinger Ben Crump George Floyd George Floyd police reform Tyre Nichols

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