South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) on Sunday slammed Democrats for blocking Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) legislation that would reform policing in America. He also hit back at the idea that America is “systemically racist.”
“We would have police reform in the last Congress, but Chuck Schumer and Kamala Harris made a conscious effort to block bringing up Tim Scott’s reform bill,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“They filibustered Tim Scott’s bill because they didn’t want Tim Scott and President Trump to get credit for it,” Graham continued.
The one area where Democrats and Republicans are still negotiating is on qualified immunity. The idea behind the protection is that a civil servant, like law enforcement officers, cannot be sued and held personally responsible for actions violating a person’s constitutional rights unless a court ruled those actions were “clearly established” and deemed unconstitutional.
According to Graham, that protection is a “big deal” for members of law enforcement across the country.
“Qualified immunity is a very big deal. If you want to destroy policing in America, make sure that every cop can be sued when they leave the house. There’s a way to find qualified immunity reform. Take the cop out of it,” Graham explained. “My idea, along with Sen. Scott, is you can’t sue the police officer, you sue the department if there’s an allegation of civil rights abuse or constitutional right abuse.”
President Joe Biden and other Democrats have repeatedly said that incidents between minorities and law enforcement officers are a result of “systemic racism” in America, particularly in policing. That is something with which Graham strongly disagrees.
“Senator, is there systemic racism in this country, in policing and in other institutions?” host Chris Wallace asked.
“Uh, no. Not in my opinion,” Graham replied. “We just elected a two-term African American president,” he said, referencing former President Barack Obama.
“The vice president is of African American, Indian descent, so our systems are not racist,” Graham explained, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris. “America is not a racist country. Within every society, you have bad actors.”
Although the media and the Left are zeroing in on the officer-involved killing of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, Graham said that case differs significantly from the George Floyd case. The main difference is Officer Nicholas Reardon was justified in using lethal force against Bryant, who was wielding a knife at another teenage girl. It’s a conclusion that even Democratic Congresswoman and former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings came to.
“This attack on police and policing — reform the police, yes. Call them all racist, no,” the senator explained. “America is a work in progress, but [the] best place on the planet.”
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