Jun 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi: Police unions want to be part of reform conversation


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Time on Thursday that she does not believe police unions ought to be "reined in" to herald law enforcement reforms, adding that unions “know that there’s some things that have to change and want to be part of that conversation.”

Why it matters: Democratic lawmakers are grappling with the contradictory politics of seeking police reforms. Left-leaning politicians traditionally support public-sector unions, including those for police departments, but unions have largely been opposed to changes that reform advocates have called for.

Yes, but: Pelosi said she recently spoke with the head of a police union and the conversation "was very constructive in following up on the Justice In Policing Act” of 2020, Democrats' sweeping police reform bill.

  • She added that calls to reform law enforcement have gained momentum amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd, because the idea is “more universally embraced.”
  • “The public sentiment is very clear,” Pelosi noted. “While we understand the need for public safety … we don’t want to have injustice and abuse of power by the police.”
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