Democrats can’t help themselves when it comes to Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).

Last week, I blogged about police training reform bill, the Justice Act, headed up by Sen. Tim Scott and the fact that because he was manning the reform bill, he was under constant assault by detractors calling him a “token” face of the bill.

The bill, “includes incentives for police departments to ban chokeholds, more disclosure requirements about the use of force and no-knock warrants, and penalties for false reports. It also includes emergency grant programs for body cameras, makes lynching a federal hate crime and creates a commission to study the conditions facing black men and boys,” summarizes NPR (full text of bill at bottom of post).

Wednesday, “token” criticism came directly from Sen. Scott’s colleague, Democrat Senator Dick Durbin, who referred to the whole ordeal as a “token” approach.

To which Sen. Scott replied:

Perfect.

Later, Sen. Scott gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, saying, “to have the senator from Illinois refer to the process, this bill, this opportunity to restore hope and confidence from the American people, from African Americans, from communities of color, to call this a token process hurts my soul for my country, for our people.”

After Sen. Scott’s speech, Sen. Durbin apologized via spokeswoman. From Politico:

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin apologized to Sen. Tim Scott Wednesday, after the South Carolina lawmaker and only African American Republican senator chastised him for warning against “token” police reform legislation.

“The minute Sen. Durbin heard that he had offended Sen. Scott, he sought him out on the floor and apologized,” said Emily Hampsten, Durbin’s communications director. “What Sen. Durbin took issue with in his floor speech was not Sen. Scott’s bill, but that the Senate Majority Leader would short circuit this critical debate and fail to make the changes needed to prevent the killing of Black Americans by police officers.”

Durbin earlier Wednesday cautioned lawmakers against doing any police reform that is “a token, half-hearted approach.” Durbin’s remarks came after the Senate Republicans, led by Scott, introduced their measure.

Scott later delivered an emotional rejection to any suggestion that his police reform bill is “token” legislation in a swipe at Durbin.

In a Senate floor speech, the South Carolina Republican commemorated the five-year anniversary of the tragic mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and criticized Democrats for playing politics on police reform.

Full text of the Justice Act here:

Senate Republicans Justice Act by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

 

 
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