Posted by 17 June 2020
This week congressional Republicans outlined police reform legislation in the wake of demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd. Democrats say it does not go far enough.
This bill would, among other things:
- Mandate federal reports on use-of-force incidents and no-knock raids
- Provide federal incentives for local and state police departments to ban the use of chokeholds and require the use of body cameras
- Develop use-of-force training by the Justice Department for local law enforcement
- Reauthorize federal law enforcement grant programs for five years
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) took the lead on developing this legislation, and there is a companion bill in the House of Representatives. He and other Republicans say these steps are good ways for the federal government to respond to calls for police reform. Democrats, however, say that this bill leaves out many important provisions.
Congressional Democrats introduced their version of reform legislation last week. It went much further than the Republican bill, imposing new rules on state and local law enforcement as well as removing legal immunity that protects police officers from many lawsuits. Republicans argue that the Democratic bill goes too far, and intrudes upon state and local government functions.
The Senate will consider the Republican police reform legislation next week.
How far do you think the federal government should go in forcing state and local police departments to change their practices?