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Durbin says Booker, Scott should revisit police reform

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) urged a pair of senators that previously led talks on police reform to revive their push to pass a bipartisan reform package in the wake of the death of Tyre Nichols after he was beaten by police in Memphis.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) led negotiations on a policing reform bill that failed in 2021 after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota. After the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, its Senate counterparts ultimately gave up on efforts to find a compromise.

“I think (Booker) and Sen. Scott should sit down again quickly to see if we can revive that effort,” Durbin said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

When the Senate initiative failed, Scott pointed the finger at Democrats for what he said was demands to limit funding for law enforcement, which he balked at. Booker pushed back on the idea that Democrats wanted to defund the police at the time.

The package also included a ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants, which Durbin said was a good starting point for reform.

“But that in and of itself is not enough,” Durbin said. “We need a national conversation about policing in a responsible, constitutional, and humane way. These men and women with badges put them on each day and risk their lives for us. I know that. But we also see from these videos horrible conduct by these same officers in unacceptable situations.”

Both Booker and Scott made statements after videos of Nichols’ brutal beating by police officers at a traffic stop were released last week, and both seemed responsive to the idea of reviving a legislative solution.

“The video of Tyre Nichols’ killing brings pain, horror, and terror,” Booker tweeted on Friday. “I’ll never stop working to create the coalition necessary to pass policing reform and to help end this.”

Scott said in a statement that Nichols was “beaten by the power of the state.”

“We must unite against this blatant disregard for human life especially from those we trust with immense power and responsibility,” Scott said. “Let it serve as a call to action for every lawmaker in our nation at every level.”

Tags Booker Cory Booker Dick Durbin police reform Scott Tim Scott Tyre Nichols

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