North Charleston from North Charleston, SC, United States via Wikimedia Commons


North Charleston from North Charleston, SC, United States via Wikimedia Commons

Senate Republicans lead by Tim Scott (R-SC) have unveiled police reform legislation.

Scott, one of three African American Senators, and his GOP colleagues told protesters “we hear you” with the introduction of the “Justice Act.”

It includes establishing a nationwide database on the use of police force, increasing restrictions on the controversial practice of chokeholds, and creating government commissions to study the connection between race and policing.

With a unique perspective in the Republican caucus, Scott spearheaded the legislation, which he believes could bridge the chasm between police departments and communities of color.

Here’s everything you need to know about his plan:

Use of Force Reports

Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

If passed, the Justice Act would require law enforcement to compile instances of the excessive use of police force. The FBI launched a similar program last year. However, the federal government does not require law enforcement agencies to comply with the National Use-of-Force Data Collection project, and so far, most police do not. 

Sen. Scott proposes that law enforcement maintains extensive use of force reports under the newly introduced George Floyd and Walter Scott Notification Act. George Floyd died soon after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin put his body weight on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. North Charleston police officer Michael Slager fatally shot Scott, no relation to the Senator. Scott was unarmed and shot in the back, contradicting Slager’s report.

Tracking No-Knock Warrants

United States Marshals Service via Wikimedia Commons

The controversy surrounding no-knock warrants or warrants issued by a judge enabling law enforcement officers to enter a property without announcing their presence has increased exponentially in recent decades. 

Controversy over the practice exploded on the night of March 13, 2020, when three plainclothes Lousiville Police officers woke Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black paramedic, and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker by entering their apartment with a battering ram. The warrant was obtained from faulty evidence based on Taylor’s previous acquaintance with a suspected drug dealer. Police found no drugs at the couple’s apartment.

None of the officers were wearing body cameras, though they claim they announced their presence as police officers. Walker, a registered gun owner, exchanged fire with them, allegedly thinking criminals had broken in. Officers fired into the bedroom, killing Taylor after shooting her eight times. Walker was initially charged with the attempted murder of a police officer. The charges have since been dropped, though that may change, and the three officers involved have received administrative reassignments pending investigation.

Scott’s Breonna Taylor Notification Act would track all “no-knock” warrants, which by one estimate increased from 1,500 annually 40 years ago to 45,000 by 2010.

Focus on Ending Chokeholds

Hungryogrephotos via Wikimedia Commons

Scott’s police reform bill would incentivize jurisdictions to stop using chokeholds without outright banning them. It would do so by withholding federal funding from police departments that continue using the potentially fatal technique.

Sharing Officer Disciplinary Information

Timothy Krause via Wikimedia Commons

If the Justice Act becomes law, the disciplinary information compiled on police officers would need to be shared between departments when officers attempt to transfer.

It would also provide funding for training to de-escalate volatile situations and establish a “duty to intervene,” compelling fellow officers to get involved if they witness potential misconduct.

Democrats Aren’t Impressed

AFGE via Wikimedia Commons

Congressional Democrats remain critical of Republicans despite Scott’s efforts. Their complaints against the Justice Act include it not having a database to track individual officers’ complaints, not ending qualified immunity to shield police officers from liability, and not banning chokeholds (though Scott convincingly argues his bill amounts to a default ban).

For Republicans, ending qualified immunity is a non-starter, fearing it will harm police recruitment and retention. Democrats have made it a prominent component of their police reform legislation: the Justice in Policing Act.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin went so far as to call Scott’s bill a “token” approach. A poor choice of words from the Democrat Party leader given their racist connotation.


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Michael Brigham has written for American Action News since the summer of 2019. His areas of expertise include foreign affairs, government, and politics, but regardless of the subject matter, he has a nose and an insatiable appetite for news. In his free time, he enjoys reading nonfiction, watching a mix of comedies and true crime documentaries, and spending time away from the swamp hiking in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.


  1. Democrats want to hamstring the police with a plan to have people sue police – what a goat rope for both the people involved and the policemen/women. The Republicans are milder in their proposal, but both will discourage current police officers and possible future ones. They put their lives on the line every day. If you look at the real numbers, crimes involving blacks, and ones involving whites, look at the violent episodes and anyone with any common sense can see their is no police conspiracy against Blacks. The real crime wave is black against black crimes, which the liberal news media totally ignores – it doesn’t make them money or it doesn’t make Trump look bad, so they don’t report it.

  2. Dave,
    Your comment is so on target. We have so many dedicated officers and they have to make split decisions in seconds. They have my total support. The black attitude and label: African American. Get rid of the poor me attitude and label: American.

  3. There’s nothing new in this reform package.All of it was long ago implemented by the LAPD …..and other departments . . .just a rehash but mostly prudent policy . . .the Spreme Court has already confirmed the rationality of the police officer immunity from certain lawsuits . . . .

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  4. None of this matters. The reforms may or may not be good; I don’t know enough about to say one way or the other. It doesn’t matter because the political left and the race baiters will never be satisfied. The real goal is to completely undermine all police and normalize/justify violence against anyone that is not pure in conduct, speech or thought in line with current leftist ideology. It will be a “Great Cultural Revolution” American style. In fact it’s already happening. Public self shaming and asking forgiveness (which they won’t get). People are losing there jobs for making offhanded coments that are not sufficiently in line with current leftist ideology. And the DNC thinks they can ride this tiger into power and keep it under control. Talk about useful idiots.

  5. The so called Democrat Party had a Mulatto in the People’s House for 8 years and did NOTHING for the Blacks but set them back 50 years

  6. Love his plan & Id add:
    Reduce Traffic force, give tickets in obvious danger zones or areas vs nickel & dime public to fund PD
    Cut PD admin for officers in field
    Uniform displinary rules adopted on Basics
    Use Of Force & No Knock warrants made uniform basics
    More can be done
    States draw own plans but have Uniform goals to reach
    & boost pay for PD service.
    More has 2 be done

  7. Although I respect and admire Sen. Scott, I think that passing a law does not fix the problem. You need people to adhere to the law and that’s where the problem begins. We have laws on the books dictating what the FBI can/must do, they have ignored the laws of our land when it is convenient for them to do so. When told of a kid planning to shoot up a school, they did nothing, even though a couple of people told them. The same thing with the Columbine murders and the local police. In most if not all mass shootings law enforcement failed, Politicians think that passing a law fixes things, but your still dependent on compliance, which you will be hard pressed to get.

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