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Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Why it matters: Eyes have again turned to Washington to take steps to address police reform in the wake of Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict Tuesday, after efforts stalled in Congress last year.

  • After Floyd's death last summer, Democrats led by Bass and Republicans led by Scott introduced two different bills to reform policing.
  • There was significant momentum for action, but neither bill gained enough support to become law, and the debate largely devolved into partisan bickering.

What they're saying: "There is a way to put more of the onus or the burden on the department or on the employer than on the employee," Scott, the lone Black GOP senator, told reporters on Capitol Hill. "I think that is a logical step forward, and ... it's something that the Democrats are quite receptive to."

  • Enabling victims and victims' families to go after the departments "is a way that we can make progress towards a bill that actually has the kind of impact that I think is helpful," Scott said.
  • Scott added that there are "really only four or five outstanding issues from my perspective": The 1033 program, which provides local and state police with military equipment, ending qualified immunity, and a federal ban on chokehold and "no-knock" warrants.
  • "Those ... are the ones that I've been talking about and focused on with Karen [Bass]. And I think we've made tremendous progress," he said, noting that Booker was also "engaged in the conversation" at their last meeting.

What to watch: Scott said the group is "on the verge of wrapping this up in the next week or two."

Go deeper

Chauvin verdicts reduce pressure for police reform

Vice President Kamala Harris listens as President Biden addresses the nation. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The unanimous guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin are a huge relief for Washington’s political establishment but seem unlikely to rush in the systemic overhauls George Floyd’s family and civil rights and progressive leaders seek.

The big picture: An acquittal or mistrial involving the former police officer would have unleashed violence and days more of protests — and added bipartisan pressure to act on criminal and police reform.

Apr 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Congress, White House brace for Chauvin verdict

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are anxious as the nation awaits the verdict in former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial, fearing a not-guilty decision could exacerbate racial tensions and spark a new wave of riots.

Why it matters: Leaders on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are trying to figure out how to calibrate any personal or legislative response, while also acknowledging how the final outcome in Chauvin's murder trial in the death of George Floyd could affect their district and them politically.

Reactions to Chauvin verdict: "Justice for Black America is justice for all America"

Reps. Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley walk with their arms around each other at the U.S. Capitol as members of the Congressional Black Caucus react to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

America is speaking out after the jury in Derek Chauvin's trial announced its guilty verdict after roughly 10 hours of deliberation.

What they're saying: Ben Crump, Floyd family lawyer, wrote, "GUILTY! Painfully earned justice has finally arrived for George Floyd’s family. ... Justice for Black America is justice for all of America!"