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WASHINGTON – Police reform in the United States Senate was squashed Wednesday after Democrats blocked a vote to begin negotiations on a GOP bill.
Democrat leaders called republicans’ proposal “inadequate.”
“Today we lost, I lost, a vote on a piece of legislation that would have led to systemic change in the relationship between the communities of color and the law enforcement community,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R) of South Carolina.
The leader of the Senate Republicans efforts to introduce police reform, Tim Scott, voicing his frustration, denying Republicans the 60 votes needed to begin debate on policies.
“The Senate Republican Justice Act lacks the substance, and the strong desperately needed reforms to stop police brutality against black Americans,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) of New York.
Three senators, Democrats Joe Manchin, Doug Jones, and Independent Angus King crossed party lines to vote in favor of the bill.
Republicans wanted incentives for police departments to make changes, including limiting chokeholds. Democrats wanted federal mandates and an overhaul of so-called qualified immunity.
“I would like to see it happen, but we won’t sacrifice,” said President Donald Trump.
Now, federal police reform in the wake of George Floyd’s death is in question.
“Two weeks ago it was implied the Senate would have blood on our hands if we didn’t take up police reform,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Now, Democrats say Senator Scott and 48 other Senators have blood an our hands because we are trying to take up police reform.”
House Democrats plan to bring their own policing proposal to a vote on Thursday.
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