Sen. Tim Scott brings attorney general to speak with S.C. law enforcement, church leaders

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 11:21 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Two weeks after a police reform bill introduced by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott stalled in the Senate, U.S. Attorney General William Barr was in the state.

He spoke about criminal justice and police reform in an effort to bolster Scott’s legislation.

Scott says Wednesday’s meetings with church leaders and law enforcement will help him make changes to his bill. he says He’s working closely with House Democrats to see if a compromise can be passed in both bodies.

“Right now, we’re sitting at zero. That speaks poorly to the American people, specifically to people of color who have been impacted by this for decades,” Scott said. “We’re back at the drawing board, but I had good conversations.”

Barr and Scott met with church leaders at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Columbia.

According to Barr, one of the big concerns brought up to him was body camera funding and racial profiling in law enforcement. Both issues addressed in Scott’s Bill.

Barr says he supports Scott’s bill and believes the best way to make change in law enforcement is to find a right balance.

“It’s not defunding the police or doing away with the police or demonizing the police, nor is it giving short shrift to the legitimate concerns that are out there about police abuses and overreach,” Barr said.

The South Carolina Democratic Party issued a statement in response to the attorney general’s visit.

It said: “Scott chooses to bring the person who has refused to prosecute crimes against people of color and made a mockery of our judicial system. Tim Scott has to be playing a joke on the people most affected by police brutality.”

Senate Democrats say the bill does not do enough to hold police accountable. They voted to block debate on the bill, stalling it.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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