Republicans Unveil Trash-Ass Police Reform Bill That Discourages Chokeholds But Doesn’t Ban Them

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., flanked by (L to R), Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., speaks at a news conference to announce that the Senate will consider police reform legislation, at the US Capitol on June 17, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., flanked by (L to R), Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., speaks at a news conference to announce that the Senate will consider police reform legislation, at the US Capitol on June 17, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY (Getty Images)

When President Trump unveiled his bullshit police reform toilet paper executive order, there was one black person not named Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) who was super supportive, almost giddy over the proposed order. That one black face was Van Jones. Jones is becoming that guy, and truthfully, if he stopped wearing his glasses, you’d have a hard time telling him and Tim Scott apart.

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Nevertheless, Senate Republicans unveiled their police reform toilet paper bill on Wednesday, and it shamelessly doesn’t do a fucking thing to stop police violence and merely discourages police from using tactics such as chokeholds and no-knock warrants but doesn’t ban them. Which is like saying I left a full plate of medium-well steaks in front of my dog and discouraged him from eating them.

What does any of this have to do with Van Jones? Well nothing, but I just want to point out that Jones’ job appears to be making Republican policy palatable to black people. So expect him to call this new proposal progress.

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“Hey look, the knife went from being 9 inches in your back to being only 6 inches in your back,” (Van Jones’ voice)

Anyway, according to the Washington Post, “The Republican proposal, which Senate leaders said would be considered on the floor next week, veers away from mandating certain policing practices, as the Democratic plan does.”

The Republican bill would merely encourage local police and law enforcement agencies to quit it with the chokeholds and “certain no-knock warrants by withholding federal funding to departments that allow the tactics or do not submit reports related to them,” the Post reports.

The legislation would also require police officer-involved deaths to be reported to the FBI and encourage more use of body-worn cameras, you know the ones that mysteriously stop working during deadly interactions? Yep, those.

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It would also make lynching a federal hate crime because in 2020 lynching is not a federal hate crime. Oh, and there would be a commission that would review policing tactics to establish “best practices” for officers and encourage de-escalation training, which I assume means teaching officers how to use any of the hundreds of gadgets on their belts that aren’t lethal. But again this is not mandatory, just encouraged.

Senator Saggy Neck Skin, aka Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Scott (the only black man on that side of the aisle) were all smiles over this bullshit-ass bill.

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“We’re serious about making a law here,” McConnell said. “This is not about trying to create partisan differences. This is about coming together and getting an outcome.”

Democrats basically called the proposed legislation laughable, noting that it didn’t come close to the kinds of sweeping overhauls needed with current policing.

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From the Post:

House Democrats are moving forward with a legislative package that would strictly ban police chokeholds, make it easier for victims of police violence to sue officers and departments and create a national database of police misconduct, among other provisions.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to advance the bill Wednesday, preparing it for a floor vote next week.

The White House has signaled that at least key portions of the House Democratic bill go too far for the administration, such as limiting legal liability in a way that would make it easier for police officers to be sued for misconduct. Revising so-called “qualified immunity” is off the table, the White House has said.

Prospects for reaching common ground in the coming weeks remain unclear.

During remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) panned the GOP bill, saying it “does not rise to the moment.”

“We have a tale of two chambers, a glaring contrast between a strong, comprehensive Democratic bill in the House and a much narrower and much less effective Republican bill in the Senate,” he said.

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Somehow, Scott, the Senate’s only black Republican member, mustered up enough saliva to fix his mouth to claim that the GOP proposal was a close measure to what Democrats want.

“Every lever of government wants change, and most of us want about 70 percent of the same change,” Scott said. “We achieve some of the same ends by our approach.”

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He even claimed that the GOP bill is “by default a ban” because of the threat of taking away federal funding, the Post notes. He added that there needed to be more data on no-knock warrants before making sweeping policy changes because I guess Louisville police officers using a battering ram to bash in Breonna Taylor’s door and shooting her dead in her home isn’t enough.

The Post notes that the Republican proposed bill will need Democrats’ support if it’s to make its way out of the Senate but that shit ain’t happening.

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“If we don’t have the votes on a motion to proceed, that means politics is more important than restoring confidence in communities of color and the institutions of authority,” Scott said.

Or your bill is trash.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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DISCUSSION

So we should assume we aren't going to get police reform from the federal government.