Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said Wednesday that he believes he can reach a deal with fellow lawmakers to get a bipartisan police reform bill by the end of next month, according to The Hill.
“I think it’s June or bust,” Scott, the lead negotiator for Republicans, told reporters on Wednesday when asked about a timeline. “I think we have three weeks in June to get this done.”
President Joe Biden and other Democrats wanted a deal by May 25, the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Scott has led the Republican side in trying to get a reform bill through Congress following a year with several police-involved deaths throughout the nation that have caused unrest and riots in cities from coast to coast.
Scott and fellow lawmakers, Sen. Cory Booker, D-, N.J., and Rep. Karen Bass, D- Calif., put out a statement saying that they were making progress and “remain optimistic” that “key differences” in the legislation can be worked out, according to The Hill.
The two big issues the sides must resolve include a provision for “qualified immunity” that protects police officers from civil lawsuits and changing Section 242 that sets the standards for convicting officers.
According to The Hill, the House has already passed a bill last year that banned chokeholds, carotid holds, and no-knock warrants, which were the cause of death in three different cases, but the bill died in the Senate.
It was the George Floyd case that brought the urgency to legislating police reform after a viral video showed former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he was on the ground.
The video lasted some eight minutes with Floyd crying out that he could not breathe and asking for his mother.
Floyd eventually lost consciousness and died.
Chauvin and three other officers on the scene were charged with murder in the death and Chauvin was convicted earlier this year, according to the Guardian.
The outrage from the case spilled onto the streets of the country leading to a summer of riots and the death of more than 30 people and billions in property damage.
The trials of the other three officers are still pending.
Chauvin is asking for a new trial.
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