Republicans are moving away from police reform. Democrats must sue him anyway
The collapse of bipartisan negotiations last week over a bill that would have resulted in a sea change in policing in the United States is disappointing but not very surprising, considering the GOP is constantly lagging behind. feet on the issue. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, the Democrats’ resource person, said the quest for change will continue without the Republicans.
The horrific nine-minute cell phone video of George Floyd’s murder under the knee of a Minneapolis cop last year was as transformative as the news footage of police dogs attacking black civil rights protesters in the South half a century ago.
Now, as then, the imagery made whites across Central America realize that police abuses against blacks were not exaggerated – that it was systemic and racist violence.
Polls after Floyd’s death showed that about half of white Americans agreed that police were more likely to use force against black citizens.
This is not as high a level of recognition as it should be (given that disproportionate police violence against black people is a fact, supported by hard data), but it is still about double the level. of recognition that whites had a few years earlier.
As in the 1960s, this fundamental public shift provided an opportunity for federal law to evolve accordingly.
Unfortunately, this is where the correlation ends. Congress then proposed landmark civil rights legislation with bipartisan support. But that was when he had two fully operational parties.
Today, one of these parties is crippled by its own extremists to the point that any hint of bipartisan compromise is considered treason.
Republicans who understand the gravity of their failure here are already trying to rewrite the facts of the police reform negotiations, saying it is the Democrats who are adamant.
In fact, it was the Democrats who made most of the compromises,
For example, last year then-President Donald Trump himself supported the use of federal funds to trick local police into training in de-escalation and outlawing strangulations; build a national database to alert services to cops who have been fired for misconduct; and improve counseling and addiction services to work collaboratively with the police.
Democrats viewed these reforms as inadequate but were ready to talk about them.
It was the Republican negotiators who ultimately scuttled them, mistakenly citing the inflammatory “defund the police” trope for any proposal that would fund services other than uniformed cops.
Holding bad cops criminally and civilly accountable, providing better training for the good, and, yes, funding support services in addition to (not in place of) cops on the streets are reforms that most, if not most Americans. Republicans in Congress, may argue. .
If Democrats can’t get it through on their own, they should at least get Republicans to vote “no” to remind America which party is on the right side of history and which is not.
– St. Louis Post-Dispatch