Scott Introduces Police Reporting Bill As Amendment to Criminal Justice Reform Package

WASHINGTON – As the Senate approaches a vote on a critical criminal justice reform package, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has introduced his Walter Scott Notification Act as an amendment to First Step Act. Scott first introduced the legislation, which requires states receiving federal law enforcement funding to report details surrounding officer-related shootings, after the 2015 shooting death of South Carolinian Walter Scott.

“This week’s criminal justice reform package provides us with an amazing opportunity to ensure the scales of justice are weighted equally for all Americans,” Scott said. “By giving us a deeper understanding of situations that lead to officer-related shootings, I believe the Walter Scott Notification Act can keep both our law enforcement officers and our communities safer.”

Under the proposed legislation, states would be required to keep track of a number of data points, including name, race, description of event, and overall circumstances that led up to the weapon being discharged. A state that fails to comply with the prescribed requirements could be subject to a ten percent reduction in federal grant funds.

The legislation is named after Walter Scott, a South Carolina-native who was fatally shot by former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager on April 4, 2015. The incident received nationwide attention after video footage showed Slager shot Walter Scott in the back as he attempted to flee the scene following a traffic stop triggered by a broken brake light. Just over two years after the incident, Slager pleaded guilty to violating Walter Scott’s civil rights. 

More information on the First Step Act: