'Nobody is going to defund the police': Top black congressman says Democrats want to 'deconstruct' US policing
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 8: Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) joins other House and Senate Democrats to announce new laws to end the excessive use of police force and cognition, Tracking and tracing misconduct is made easier at the U.S. Capitol June 8, 2020 in Washington, DC. Democrats introduced legislation after the recent death of unarmed African Americans in police custody, including George Floyd, and nationwide demonstrations that called for law enforcement to be revised. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
The top black US Congressman has clearly signaled that he does not support calls to "defuse the police" despite a wave of activism that calls for action after the deaths of George Floyd and other blacks in incidents involving the police.
"Nobody will disappoint the police. We can restructure the police force - restructure, redefine the police. We will do that, ”said James E. Clyburn, the third-placed Democrat in the chamber, in an interview with CNN on Sunday.
“The fact is that the police have a role to play. We have to make sure that their role matches the times. One that responds to the communities in which they operate, "said Clyburn.
State of the nation
"This didn't require fatal violence and I don't know what would make this guy do it in culture," @WhipClyburn said when a Atlanta police officer killed a black man, Rayshard Brooks. "It has to be the culture, it has to be the system."
4:27 PM - June 14, 2020
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Mr. Clyburn, a long-time ally of spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, is one of 213 co-sponsors of the House of Democrats' Justice in Policing Act, which, while making major changes to US law enforcement, does not immediately abolish police forces.
Such steps must be taken at the state and local levels.
And while federal lawmakers have less control over local police control, most Democrats in Washington, like Mr. Clyburn, have stated that they do not support police funding.
The Congressional Democrats bill would reform "qualified immunity" laws to facilitate law enforcement and misconduct against police and other government agencies for misconduct, as well as prohibiting federal choke holds and no-knock warrants in drug cases, while at the same time banning local departments for adoption stimulate similar measures by withholding funding for those who do not.
The Democrats' bill would also provide funding for training to reduce racial prejudice. Establish a national register of misconduct for officials to ensure that officials with lengthy and questionable records cannot simply switch departments to avoid accountability; and urge state and local law enforcement agencies to report violence incidents to the Department of Justice.
The house is expected to return to vote on the bill on Thursday, June 25.
It is unlikely that it will happen in the Republican-controlled Senate without major changes.
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who is leading the efforts of the Senate GOP to put together a police reform package, said reforming qualified immunity to ease the lawsuit against police officers was a "poison pill" for his party.
"The president sent a signal that qualified immunity is off the table. [Republicans] see this as a poison pill on our side," Scott said in an interview with CBS News on Sunday.
The legislature of both parties has expressed optimism. Negotiators can reach a cross-party compromise.
But the Democrats have indicated that they will not be satisfied with changes at the edges. You want a comprehensive reform.
"The fact is that this is the structure that has been developed and that we need to deconstruct," said Clyburn. "I wouldn't say defuse - deconstruct our police," he said.
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