WASHINGTON, D.C. — As federal lawmakers scramble to focused on coronavirus relief, News Center 7′s Washington correspondent Blair Miller has learned police reform bills are now at a standstill.
It is an issue both Democrats and Republicans agree needs to change: the relationship between communities of color and law enforcement.
But for some on capitol hill - that's where the agreement stops.
Last month - the Democratic-majority House passed the ‘Justice In Policing Act,” which would create a national police misconduct registry.
It would also ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants at the federal level.
“This bold, transformative legislation will assist police departments to change the culture of policing” Rep. Karen Bass, D-California.
But GOP members had their own plan in mind. Republican senators, spearheaded by Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, introduced their own bill called the "Justice Act." Senate Democrats voted to block all debate on that bill.
Now, both bills remain stagnant. With no agreement in sight, some states are taking it upon themselves to create change.
In Connecticut, lawmakers are working on a bill that would get rid of qualified immunity for officers. Iowa's governor signed a law banning most police chokeholds. Calls for reform continuing across the country, while many DC lawmakers remain frustrated.
“We’ll forget about this, we’ll move on, and people will forget about it. And you know what’s going to happen? Something bad. And we’ll be right back here, talking about what could have been done, what should have been done, why we must act now,” Sen. Scott said.
Both Ohio senators agreed change is needed in policing.
Sen. Sherrod Borwn, D-Ohio, is calling for the entire public safety system to be transformed. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, says both sides need to work together.
However, with Democrats calling for a complete overhaul, while Republicans want specific policy changes, there is still a lot of ground to cover between the two sides.
Cox Media Group