Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker praised Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott in a rare moment of bipartisanship on the issue of police reform.
In an interview with Joy Reid on MSNBC, where conservatives are the target of frequent criticism, Booker discussed his experience working across the aisle.
“I’m working principally with Tim Scott and a handful of others. I have had moments in this negotiation that have given me solace and strength as I’ve watched Tim Scott share stories about his own encounters with police even as a United States senator,” Booker said Tuesday on “The ReidOut.”
“He is not caving to the politics of this. He is sincere. We may have disagreements on a lot of the parts of the bill, but I’m telling you as a black man, Tim Scott is sincere in wanting to see us address these problems,” he said.
Scott and Booker are leading bipartisan negotiations on police reform legislation, which is expected to become public in the coming weeks.
“We continue to work on the process, and I think we have good, good progress over the weekend, I thought, and I think we can see the end of the tunnel,” Scott told reporters Monday, according to Fox News.
The two senators, along with Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass, released a joint statement Monday about the one-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
“One year ago, George Floyd’s murder awakened millions of people around the world who had never before witnessed the deadly consequences of the failures in our policing system. This anniversary serves as a painful reminder of why we must make meaningful change,” they said.
“While we are still working through our differences on key issues, we continue to make progress toward a compromise and remain optimistic about the prospects of achieving that goal.”
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) May 24, 2021
A recent Morning Consult-Politico poll indicated that 69 percent of Americans, including 43 percent of Republicans, view police violence as a “serious problem.”
This was a 10 percent decrease from last June — and a 22 percent drop among Republicans — but the number still suggests that there is a strong demand for sensible reforms.
— Morning Consult (@MorningConsult) May 25, 2021
The survey was conducted Friday through Monday among 2,200 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
It is refreshing to see some Republicans and Democrats come together on this issue instead of quickly dismissing each other over policy differences.
As there are clearly different strategies being floated across the spectrum, ranging from “do nothing” to “abolish the police,” policy wonks and criminal justice reform advocates alike will be curious to see what deal both parties arrange.
The issue of qualified immunity — which would make it easier for police officers to be sued for their actions on the job — has been a sticking point between the two sides. Scott and other Republicans have opposed such a provision.
The conversation surrounding policing in the United States has been intense and polarizing for many, so Booker and Scott’s partnership is much needed.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.