Bipartisan policing reform talks have officially failed.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-California) spent months in negotiation with little progress.

“The effort from the very beginning was to get police reform that would raise professional standards, police reform that would create a more transparent way, one that would create accountability and we were not able to come to agreements on those three big areas,” Booker told reporters on Wednesday. “It was clear to me that we weren’t making any more substantive progress.”

Scott is now blaming Democrats for the collapse of the deal, saying he tried to introduce a compromise bill which Democrats ultimately rejected. “After months of making progress, I am deeply disappointed that Democrats have once again squandered a crucial opportunity to implement meaningful reform to make our neighborhoods safer and mend the tenuous relationship between law enforcement and communities of color,” he said. “Crime will continue to increase while safety decreases, and more officers are going to walk away from the force because my negotiating partners walked away from the table.”


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Jonathan Thompson, executive director and CEO of the National Sheriffs’ Association, also seems to believe the talks should continue in the future. “We appreciate the desire to have a concrete position, but we can find common ground and will remain committed to doing so,” he said.

Bass, the lead House Democratic negotiator, said police unions’ infighting is partially to blame for the failure of the talks, but she wants President Joe Biden to take executive action to address some of the issues. “Whether that’s an executive order, whether that’s issuing instructions, whatever they can do, we need the administration to act now, because we don’t have any particular faith or hope that we will be able to get reforms passed,” she said.


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