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Rep. Lee Zeldin to Newsmax TV: Police Reform Must Be Local

(Newsmax TV's "Spicer and Co.")

By    |   Tuesday, 09 June 2020 08:33 PM

Police reform is best resolved at the local, not federal level, Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

Zeldin was discussing a bill introduced in the House this week that calls for several steps to bring change to the nation's police departments following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

He told Tuesday's "Spicer and Co." he does not think he can get behind the bill because he believes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is "jamming" the legislation "down the throat of the House" to push her own solutions for the policing problems across the country. 

"This is best resolved at the local level," Zeldin told host Sean Spicer. "If you have an issue within your ranks where crimes are being committe, or you have issues with individuals not treating suspects equally, you're seeing racism or some other aspect of discrimination, if you have strong local leadership to be able to deal with that, that's ideal."

Further, Zeldin said, it is improper to "paint with one broad brush" all police departments when there is an issue going on in one city. 

"[If] you're going to act as if all law enforcement in America is bad and the entire system is totally screwed up, that ends up being a little bit divorced," Zeldin said.

"Almost 100% of law enforcement are selfless, dedicated patriots who love their jobs and would risk their lives for their entire community," Zeldin added. "That's the concern when trying to with a one-size-fits-all [approach] when strong local leadership can take care of a lot of concerns being raised."

The plan Pelosi put on the floor this week includes allowing victims of misconduct to sue police for damages, banning chokeholds, requiring the use of body cameras by federal law enforcement officers, restrict the use of lethal force, and facilitate independent investigations of police departments that show patterns of misconduct.

Zeldin also said he cannot get behind the bill because it will result in law enforcement being more concerned about facing lawsuits than doing their jobs. 

"The speaker didn't follow any type of regular order," he said. "This isn't a product of committees . . . once again, just like that HEROES Act, the inappropriately named [bill] the House passed for coronavirus response, she didn't even get input from stakeholders in law enforcement to get their ideas about how to make it better."

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Reform policing at the local level, not unilaterally around the country as "one size fits all," Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. told Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
lee zeldin, house, democrats, police, reform, chokeholds, excessive force, congress
Tuesday, 09 June 2020 08:33 PM
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