WASHINGTON — Indiana Sen. Todd Young is co-sponsoring the Justice Act, which is the Senate GOP plan to tackle police reform throughout the United States.
The bill was authored by Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is the Senate’s only African-American Republican. The bill seeks several provisions and rules that police departments across the country would be expected to follow if the bill becomes law.
“From South Bend to Indianapolis, down to New Albany, what I consistently heard was ‘Todd, we don’t want outrage, we want outcomes,” Young said. “We want Congress and the president to act and here we are poised to act.”
Among the provisions would be conditioning federal funding for state and local law enforcement on the basis of banning the use of chokeholds and requiring the use of body cameras, which are provisions both Republicans and Democrats appear to agree on. Granted, Democrats want the chokehold ban to come from the federal level.
Where the two sides part is on police accountability. The Democratic bill in the House goes a lot further in expanding the amount of legal recourse victims of police misconduct have and would make it easier to sue cops. Democrats also say the GOP bill doesn’t call for an outright ban on no-knock warrants.
Young said the GOP Bill will improve the criminal justice system and create a “measure of trust” in the nation’s “most important local institutions.”
“The only thing between us and achieving that outcome is political calculation. Cynical political calculation,” said Young. “It’s sad that this is falling along party lines and I hope that changes. The American people want this done.”
In tandem with the Justice Act, Sen. Mike Braun has also filed a bill that would roll back qualified immunity for officers, which protects them from being sued if a level of misconduct doesn’t rise to the level of the illegality of incompetence. Braun feels this might get some Democrats to come around to the Justice Act.
The Senate will discuss the Justice Act on the floor later today.