“After months of exhausting all possible avenues to a bipartisan agreement, it remains out of reach for now, even after working with police groups and gaining their support,” Booker said Wednesday. “Unfortunately, even with this support for law enforcement and other compromises that we offered, there was still too big a gap with our negotiating partners and we encountered significant obstacles in reaching a bipartite agreement. ”
Booker added that “the time has come to explore all other options for achieving meaningful and sensible police reform.”
The failure of bipartisan negotiations almost certainly closes the door to reforming the policing of this Congress, in the absence of changes to Senate rules. Earlier this year, the House passed a sweeping police reform bill named after George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year. But this legislation has no chance of obtaining 10 Republican votes in the Senate.
Bass, the top Democratic House negotiator, confirmed that “the talks are over” and blamed the intransigence of the police unions in part on the failure.
“It wasn’t like there was a big fight. It wasn’t like there had been a big breakup, “she said.” But at some point you have to recognize that you are just turning the wheels. “
Bass called on the Biden administration to step in and take action to reform the police “to the extent possible.”
“Whether it’s an executive decree, whether it’s giving instructions, whatever it is, we need the administration to act now, because we have no faith or no particular hope of being able to pass reforms, ”she declared.
Last week, the Justice Department announced a series of federal law enforcement reforms overseen by the department, prohibiting the use of chokes and smooth entries for officers unless resorting to the force is not allowed. Police reform negotiators had attempted to include similar reforms in their legislation, although their provisions would have included a wider range of law enforcement.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the end of discussions on police reform.