Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., vowed Sunday that police reform advocates “will get this done” despite the breakdown in recent bipartisan talks.
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Booker said he’s “confident” talks will resume with Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and other Republicans.
“Senator Scott and I actually are friends. And so I’m more than confident, especially as I look at other Republicans there and other folks to deal with, that we’re going to find a way to keep working on this issue,” he said.
“We came to a stalemate when we couldn’t embody Donald Trump’s [executive order] in legislation, as is,” he continued. “That’s problematic for me. But again, this is going to continue to be an urgency in my life… police officers as we’ve now seen, conservative think tanks, all are calling for change. We’re going to build on that coalition and we’re going to… get this done.”
Booker said he and his Republican colleagues came to an agreement about banning chokeholds by police but could not compromise on measures that would have provided “data transparency” to ensure “real consequences.”
“We did not have enough to do the kind of data transparency that was necessary, the kind of raise in professional standards that even police officers are now saying — the majority of folks who represent them,” he said. “And we did not have real consequences.”
“There are things we’ve been debating from the beginning about qualified immunity, other shields to holding officers that do bad things accountable,” he said.
“I’m telling you I’m not giving up. And again, law enforcement leaders will tell you this: We have a lot of work to do, so that everybody doesn’t feel like I felt growing up, and a lot of kids do, is when you see a police officer, your first instinct is fear, and not like, ‘Hey, there’s somebody here to help me.’”
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