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Read Democrats’ final offer on police reform before talks collapse

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Washington – The blame game began in Washington after the disappearance of police reform legislation which had been the subject of bipartisan negotiations for over a year on Capitol Hill.

Democratic lawmakers, led by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Representative Karen Bass of California, decided last Wednesday to call off negotiations with a group of Republicans led by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. President Biden blamed the failure of the deal on Republicans, saying the GOP had “rejected the adoption of modest reforms that even the previous president had supported.”

A source close to the negotiations in Booker’s office affirmed this interpretation, telling CBS News that Democrats could not get Republicans to agree to codify the executive orders signed last summer by former President Donald Trump, which promulgated a series of reforms on the police services.

Mr. Trump’s orders, like the legislative effort that failed last week, included reforms like banning strangling and improving federal data collection efforts. The ordinances also made the release of federal subsidies to local departments conditional on the adoption of reforms.

Scott, for his part, said putting conditions on federal money was a non-starter for Republicans in the last debate.

“We have about a billion dollars in grants going to the police,” the South Carolina Republican said. said Sunday on “Face the Nation”. “When you start to say, ‘To receive these dollars you have to do A, B and C, and if you don’t do a B and C you literally lose your eligibility for the two main pots of money” – the Byrne them grants and grants from the COP – when you tell local law enforcement agencies that you are not eligible for money, it funds the police. There is no way to deflect it . “

“But it would codify Trump’s executive orders,” said Margaret Brennan, CBS News chief foreign correspondent and “Face the Nation” moderator.

“Trump’s decree that I actually agree with,” Scott replied. “What I didn’t agree on were the cuts that come from non-compliance.”

CBS News obtained a document from Booker’s office outlining the Democrats’ final offer on police reform before the talks collapsed, along with the “minimum requirements” they had for any potential bill. The content of this document is reproduced below:


Police Services – Summary and Minimum Requirements (9/21/21)

ACCREDITATION

1. Minimum requirement: Adopt the policy of the Trump Executive Order directing the Attorney General to work with law enforcement officials and other stakeholders to develop national accreditation standards. Departments must obtain accreditation to remain eligible for COPS and Byrne grants.

SEARCH FOR GUARANTEES

1. Minimum requirement: Prohibit the use of warrants without striking all drug cases (County Sheriffs Associations policy proposal) and make any evidence seized in violation of the policy inadmissible in court.

MILITARIZATION

1. Base Agreement: Limitations on transfers of military equipment to state and local agencies will apply to all federal agencies and the use of grant funds (except for asset forfeiture funds) and law enforcement agencies must obtain approval from their state or local government unit to obtain controlled equipment.

2. Outstanding Issues: There must be a limitation on the transfer of tracked vehicles, which can be obtained for emergency uses through a waiver process. There must also be increased oversight of programs (in particular, a DOJ unit with the power to monitor transfers between all federal agencies and with the power to investigate complaints of abuse or civil rights violations).

RESPONSIBILITY DATABASE

1. Agreement: Create a searchable public database that provides information on dismissals, decertifications and criminal convictions of officers, with names of officers.

2. Additional Requirements: The database should include agent complaint level data (ideally anonymized) and reporting should be mandatory.

DATABASE ON LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES

1. Minimum Requirements: Expand the FBI Use of Force Database to include all types of force (except minor use of force) and investigative activity data (traffic stops and pedestrians , and searches, including searches and consent searches) and reporting must be mandatory to remain eligible for COPS and Byrne grants.

MENTAL HEALTH

1. Minimum Requirements: Must include grants for alternative community responses / services.

OTHER INVOICES – TO BE DETERMINED

1. Minimum requirements: New criminal civil rights laws for sexual assault by agents and theft by agents. Plus various invoices that can be agreed.

CHOKEHOLD – AGREEMENT

1. Strangulation or vascular restraint of the neck, including carotid wedges, will be prohibited unless lethal force is justified.

2. State and local agencies will be prohibited from training officers in the use of chokes, except for the purpose of identifying and intervening to stop the use of choke (no training ban at the level federal).

3. Officers will have a duty to intervene when they observe another officer using a choke.

4. State and local departments will not be eligible for COPS or Byrne grants unless they have a similar policy in place.

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