Calls for police reform continue after congressional talks break down


NEXSTAR, WASHINGTON – After months of negotiations, Democrats-Republicans’ police reform negotiations on Capitol Hill collapsed last week.

But the calls to action don’t go away.

National Sheriff’s Association chief Jonathan Thompson said that after Democrats made concessions and removed more adversarial provisions such as the abolition of qualified immunity, he was growing increasingly optimistic about the prospect of an agreement on police reform. Now he just hopes there is a way to keep the bipartisan effort alive.

“We have to stay at the table, we have to talk,” said Thompson. “From the language we saw, I would say we were 90% on board. “

He says he is disappointed that lawmakers have failed to strike a deal after months of negotiations on police reform.

He says that with the increase in crime, he has backed a compromise plan to ban strangles and stop strike warrants, while adding more money for police training and resources. Mental Health.

“The mental health problem in this country… it’s a shame,” he said. “We put people who belong to hospitals to jail. “

Ultimately, discussions broke down on how to force the change. Democrats wanted to halt federal police subsidies if local agencies didn’t adopt new tactics.

Thompson says it was a bridge too far.

“We are convinced that law enforcement is a local function,” he said. “One size cannot fit all. “

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, accuses Democrats of derailing the deal.

“One hundred percent of what they want is not a compromise,” Grassley said.

Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, disagrees.

“There’s a lot of blame all around,” Brown said.

With no legislative agreement in sight, the White House is committed to taking executive action on police reform after consulting with both civil rights groups and law enforcement.

But Thompson ultimately says he hopes the administration won’t step in and lawmakers get back to the table.

“We are ready to have these discussions,” said Thompson.

Civil rights groups are also calling on Congress to return to the negotiating table, but say if a deal cannot be reached, President Joe Biden should step in and take matters into his own hands.

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