Bipartisan Police Reform Negotiations Collapse

Headline Roundup September 24th, 2021

Lawmakers have failed to strike a bipartisan police reform deal after months of negotiations in the wake of the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. In a statement Wednesday, President Joe Biden said he still hopes to pass a "comprehensive and meaningful police reform bill" and chastised Republicans for purportedly rejecting "modest reforms, which even the previous president had supported." Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a lead negotiator, said his Democratic "negotiating partners walked away from the table." A key point of disagreement was on reforming qualified immunity, which protects individual police officers from civil liability for misconduct. Democrats and Republicans seemed aligned on other details, including banning chokeholds, boosting funds for mental health resources and cutting off the transfer of military equipment to police. The future of bipartisan police reform legislation is now unclear.

Left-rated sources often framed Republican stubbornness as the reason for the talks failing; some highlighted how Democrats still plan to try to advance police reform legislation. Reports from right-rated outlets often painted Democrats as to blame for the failed negotiations, with some accusing them of an unwillingness to compromise. Others framed the "Defund the Police" movement as having hurt efforts to pass bipartisan legislation.

From the Right
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President Joe Biden vowed to take executive action to enact police reform “in the coming weeks,” after Republicans on Capitol Hill killed a Democratic police reform bill Wednesday.

Biden released a statement Wednesday acknowledging that there is no longer a path forward for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which had already passed through the House. Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Democratic California Rep. Karen Bass introduced the legislation earlier this year, but failed to garner enough Republican support in the Senate.

“The murder of George Floyd is...

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From the Center
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Police reform talks in Congress have fallen apart, as lawmakers could not strike a bipartisan deal despite the loudest calls in years to root out law enforcement violence against Black Americans.

“After months of exhausting every possible pathway to a bipartisan deal, it remains out of reach right now, even after working collaboratively with and securing the support of policing groups like the Fraternal Order of Police and International Association of Chiefs of Police for our proposals,” Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat who joined in reform talks for...

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From the Left
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Bipartisan negotiations in the US Congress over a police reform bill that was prompted by the killing of George Floyd have collapsed.

“We did the best we could,” the Democratic congresswoman Karen Bass told reporters on Wednesday.

The House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in March, and Bass and the Democratic senator Cory Booker have since been working with the Republican senator Tim Scott to try to reach a bipartisan agreement on a bill that could pass the Senate.

But the talks dragged on for months with negotiators remaining at odds over...

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AllSides Talks: Political Stereotypes

Monday, October 25, 2021, 5PM PT / 8PM ET

This Monday, Americans from across the political spectrum will meet in small groups to explore the impact of political stereotypes, and what they wish others would understand about their beliefs.

Learn about AllSides Talks