Tim Scott: Police ‘need more resources, not less resources’ to compel reform
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Sunday that police “need more resources, not less resources” to compel reform within their departments after the death of George Floyd sparked calls for change across the country.
The senator, who led the efforts to draft the Republicans’ police reform bill, told ABC’s “This Week” that he believes more resources and increased penalties for falsifying police reports can help prevent deaths.
“We believe that you actually need more resources, not less resources,” he said. “If you want officers to be trained effectively, you have to give them the tools called training to get there. That requires more resources.”
Sen. Tim Scott says his police reform bill would leverage federal funds to “compel” change in local police departments, but adds that police “need more resources, not less resources” to improve training, data collection and other elements of police reform. https://t.co/Alu4wcJ7Hk pic.twitter.com/rTxARrq3fm
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 21, 2020
Scott advocated the use of federal funds to influence local law enforcement behavior to “compel them towards the direction that we think is in the best interest of the nation.”
“The House knows and the Senate knows that you can’t ban local use of chokeholds or state use of chokeholds except for the compelled behavior by the federal grants that come into play,” he said. “And by removing those federal grants, you actually position those departments to change their behavior, change their policy.”
He also said leveraging the federal funds will “compel or coerce” local police agencies to improve data collection, training, de-escalation of situations and the duty to intervene.
The GOP senator’s view contrasts with the “Defund the Police” movement, which aims to move money usually designated for law enforcement to social services.
Scott, the Senate’s only Black Republican, helped develop the GOP’s police reform bill in the upper chamber, which, unlike the House bill, would not ban chokeholds outright. Instead, law enforcement agencies would be unable to obtain federal grants if chokeholds remained permitted.