NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and U.S. Senator Tim Scott held a press conference in North Charleston on Monday to discuss the JUSTICE Act and called for more transparency in law enforcement reporting.
Sen. Scott introduced the federal legislation on Wednesday of last week.
The legislation addresses long-term solutions that are focused on police reform, accountability and transparency for law enforcement officers and promotes efforts to find solutions to systemic issues affecting minorities.
It comes in wake of George Floyd’s death, an unarmed black man who died after an officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes.
Floyd’s death sparked protests and riots across the country and in some cities around the world.
“Now is the time for reform,” Senator Scott said when introducing the legislation last week. “The murder of George Floyd and its aftermath made clear from sea to shining sea that action must be taken to rebuild lost trust between communities of color and law enforcement.”
He went on to say, “The JUSTICE Act takes smart, commonsense steps to address these issues, from ending the use of chokeholds and increasing the use of body worn cameras, to providing more resources for police departments to better train officers and make stronger hiring decisions. I want to thank Leader McConnell and the entire task force not just for their hard work on putting this bill together, but for their commitment to finding real solutions.”
The JUSTICE Act includes grant money for body cameras, a commission to review the nation’s current law enforcement system and data collection on use of force.
The bill doesn’t include a ban on chokeholds, as was previously discussed. While he was signing an executive order on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said chokeholds will be banned under a new credentialing process, “except if an officer’s life is at risk.”
Sen. Scott wants a vote on his bill before the July 4 recess. You can read the full text of the JUSTICE Act here.