Senator Scott: Chokeholds Are A Policy Whose Time Has Come And Gone

Mt. Pleasant, SC – This morning, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) joined Meet the Press and Face the Nation to discuss police reform efforts and the JUSTICE Act. Highlights are below.

Face The Nation

On what the JUSTICE Act does:

“There are three major parts of it:

  • Today, only 40 percent of law enforcement departments are actually providing information to the DOJ. We need a hundred percent as it relates to serious bodily injury and death. When [an] officer uses force, we need to have all the information. I’ve been working on this, Margaret, for five years. My first bill was in 2015 after the Walter Scott incident where he was shot in the back five times 30 feet from the officer.
  • The second thing we have to do is look at training and tactics. If we do that, we can certainly de-escalate the situation and make sure that the officer and the suspect go home [safely].
  • The third part of it is officer misconduct. If we can drill into officer misconduct, we do it on the local level. The House has been talking about doing it on a state level. The president’s executive order talks about doing it on a national level. So, if we could blend those three together, we might actually save hundreds of lives and improve the relationship between the communities of color and the law enforcement community.”

On recent events involving the shooting death of a black man in a Wendy’s drive thru in Atlanta:

“One of the challenges that we have in a split-second decision is the need for more training. That’s why the de-escalation aspect of my bill (the JUSTICE Act) and the House bill is so critically important…so that [officers] don’t revert back to basic fear plus adrenaline leads us to the genetic code, so to speak. That’s a hard balance to achieve. So, in order for us to provide more opportunities to de-escalate these situations and reduce the use of force, we have to have effective training.”

Meet The Press

On chokeholds

“There are other aspects we can be more clear on – like the chokehold. This is a policy whose time has come and gone. We try to tackle that on the local level, the (U.S.) House policy tackles that on the state level, and I think the President is looking at a national perspective on that from his executive order. Every single aspect, all three levers want to tackle the issue of chokeholds, and that’s part of that entire conversation around the de-escalation of force.”

On making Juneteenth a federal holiday

“It’s a brilliant idea.”