On Tuesday, Republican Sen. Tim Scott talked about his efforts on police reform, saying that he is opposed to lowering the threshold for prosecuting police officers and that police need more funding, not less.
Many on the left have argued for defunding the police, particularly since the death of George Floyd in 2020.
Sen. Scott made his comments on “Fox News Primetime.”
Scott told host Brian Kilmeade, “The way I deal with ‘defund the police’ is it’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my whole life. Having lived with a single parent, lived in poverty, we always want police officers around when necessary, especially to keep our moms safe.”
Scott argued that smaller and medium-sized police departments in particular need more funding.
The South Carolina senator said that he opposes lowering the threshold for prosecuting officers under Section 242 – in other words, Scott opposes big changes to qualified immunity for individual officers.
And while he doesn’t want to expand the military-style equipment some police departments now use, he approves of renewing the currently existing list of forbidden equipment.
Scott told Fox News, “We need to provide more resources, more money.”
“Bottom line, when I say resources, I mean money coming into, especially our smaller departments and even our mid-size departments so that the training to intervene and the training on de-escalation, all those training dollars are incredibly important,” Scott added.
“We don’t need less money for the police,” Sen. Scott insisted. “We need more.”
GOP Sen. Scott has been a leading advocate for police and criminal justice reform in his party in the wake of the protests and riots sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Last June, Democrats filibustered Senator Scott’s police reform legislation.
The Republican has talked openly and emotionally about his own controversial confrontations with law enforcement as a black man, including being stopped seven times in one year by police while serving as a Member of Congress.
Scott has also balanced discussing that experience by noting that most police officers are good and that America “is not a racist nation,” as the senator stressed in his recent Republican rebuttal to Joe Biden’s national address.
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