Scott Statement on Police Reform Negotiations

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) released the following statement on Democrats walking away from the negotiating table on police reform.

“After months of making progress, I am deeply disappointed that Democrats have once again squandered a crucial opportunity to implement meaningful reform to make our neighborhoods safer and mend the tenuous relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. Crime will continue to increase while safety decreases, and more officers are going to walk away from the force because my negotiating partners walked away from the table.

“I made a promise to never walk away from the table because walking away means we’re giving up on the communities and officers whose lives hang in the balance. I’ve heard from and spoken to the families of the victims who have lost their lives at the hands of police. The areas where we agreed—banning chokeholds, limiting the transfer of military equipment, increased mental health resources, and more—would have brought justice to these families. I’ve also heard from police and sheriffs groups who supported the work we were doing to provide more resources to implement better training, standards, and accountability for departments.

“Defunding the police destabilizes our communities. Change requires resources. I offered to introduce a bill that included our areas of compromise—a bill that activists and law enforcement alike could have supported. Despite having plenty of agreement, Democrats said no because they could not let go of their push to defund our law enforcement. Once again, the Left let their misguided idea of perfect be the enemy of good, impactful legislation.

“Reverting to a partisan approach to score political points when American lives are at risk is just plain wrong. As they are doing on so many other issues, I fear Democrats will continue to pursue a partisan route to create problems in search of solutions. While I am frustrated that the Left abandoned such a critical issue at such a critical time, I will continue to work with anyone who is serious about finding bipartisan solutions that bring justice, fairness, and safety for the most vulnerable among us.”