Thomas Gallatin / June 10, 2020

Time for Bipartisan Policing Reform?

Both parties bow to loud demands to end “policing injustice.”

Buying into the current leftist narrative that law enforcement in America is the problem, and as leftist activists and race-baiters loudly call for “defunding the police,” congressional lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have lined up to propose legislation aimed at reforming police.

On Monday, leading House Democrats decked with brightly colored “African” scarves made a spectacle of kneeling for more than eight minutes on the floor of the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall while the names of George Floyd and others killed by law enforcement were read. During the event, Speaker Nancy Pelosi asserted, “We cannot settle for anything less than transformative structural change.” The pandering act was the setup for House Democrats to unveil their Justice in Policing Act.

Clearly not wanting to be seen as unwilling to listen or respond to the massive protests currently roiling the nation, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday announced that he had tapped the GOP’s only black senator, South Carolina’s Tim Scott, to lead the team drafting a bill on policing reform.

Apparently capitulating to the Left’s narrative of “systemic racism,” McConnell asserted that Republicans needed a “proposal to allow us to respond to the obvious racial discrimination that we’ve seen on full display on our television screens over the last two weeks.” He continued, “We’re still wrestling with America’s original sin. We try to get better, but every now and then it is perfectly clear we’re a long way from the finish line. I think the best way for Senate Republicans to go forward on this is to listen to one of our own who had these experiences [as a black American].”

Setting aside the dubious assertions about racism from both parties, several of the reforms proposed by both House Democrats and Senate Republicans are not bad. In fact, there appear to be several areas where Democrats and Republicans should find common ground, such as banning “no knock” warrants, limiting the transfer of military-grade equipment to police departments, and reforming “qualified immunity” protections that too often shield bad cops from accountability for violating people’s constitutional rights. However, the danger, as always, will be overregulation — the passage of bad proposals that so limit and hamper the ability of law enforcement to do their jobs that it puts both officers and the law-abiding public in greater danger.

Finally, the racial component that is the driving force behind these efforts must be honestly and thoroughly held in check. Any legislation that is founded upon the erroneous narrative of “white privilege” or “systemic racism” will inevitably produce greater injustice. Any “reforms” that explicitly favor or elevate groups based upon ethnicity will inevitably lead to injustice. True justice is color-blind.

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