US Senate Republicans unveil bill on police reform

US Senate Republicans have unveiled a bill on police reform. The proposal, spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, seeks to ban the use of chokeholds and includes new accountability and reporting requirements.

“Too often we’re having a discussion in this nation about are you supporting the law enforcement community or are you supporting communities of color?” Scott told a press conference on Wednesday. “This is a false binary choice.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican-controlled chamber will turn to Scott’s bill next week, while urging bipartisan cooperation to make it a law, Xinhua reported.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday that the Republican proposal “is missing meaningful accountability for individual officers’ misconduct.”

“Without accountability measures, we’re merely exhorting police departments to be better, crossing our fingers, and hoping for the best,” the New York Democrat added.

The bill came a day after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on policing amid calls for action against police brutality and racism after the death of George Floyd in police custody.

House Democrats introduced their bill last week that aims to ensure officers can be held accountable for misconduct and increase transparency.

Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota late last month after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Protests in response to Floyd’s death, and more broadly to police violence, spread across the United States and took place in some other countries and regions.