tv Sen. Tim Scott Discusses Criminal Justice Reform CSPAN December 1, 2020 7:35pm-8:00pm EST
president in 2008, the country responded by voter id laws the present laws. and then we elected donald trump. we are at a crossroads. who are we going to be. at the heart of it all it's always been this moral question. who do we take ourselves to be. >> join the conversation with your calls, tweets, textnd facebook messages. and then at 9:00 p.m. eastern on afterwards, national review correspondentevin williamson, big white ghetto, everyday lives of white working-class americans. he's interviewed by washington examiner columnist seen in contributor. >> watch book tv on "c-span2". this weekend. south carolina senator tim scott, little justice reform bill and working across the aisle with his democratic
colleagues. senator scott said in for conversation hosted by the manhattan institute. this is 20 minutes. >> welcome to the manhattan institute cement cast. i am james, senior fellow the institute for policy research and director of legal policy for the institute . today's guest is sponsored in cooperation with manhattan institute's new policing and public safety initiative. and we are pleased to welcome senator tim scott rublican of south carolina. to discuss with us federal criminal justice reform . senator scott is when i look up to a lot. hisouth carolina senator number north carolina boy. and senator scott is somebody who's in initial primary doesn't necessarily, he defeated - those of us who live in the south relies in taking this in a primary that the sun of a long
time later is something that is quite remarkable. i don't caref you're white o black or purple but t senator scott is a black man. his only the fourth black men to serve as a u.s. senator along with the great edward brooke and of course barack obama my law school buddy and theyork together in a number of collaborative efforts. and part of the area where senator scott is really reach acro the aisle, is a real we are talking about today. criminal justice reform. in the senator open with yours and mine in conservative cires within july july 2016, he talked about his own experience with the police, being stop disproportionately even the capital buildin racers and senator. so let's ld off wit that senator scott for i think it is an important topic. has yourhinking on these issues continuing to evolve over
the years and how to shape the way your approach leading your carcass putting together the justice after the summer. which was the republican alternate to police reform . scott: carolinians must stick tother that's important to note. in north carolina, tha of the south carolina boys and being gether . there's no doubt that myelationship with law enforcement overtime has been like both positive and negative. i was stopped 18 tim in the year 1999. it's given me a fresh and clear perspective that we still have work to do. howeve my positive experience with the law enforcement any years ago, major car accident with law enforcement and they were there, they we caring in the wrong spot. i think one of the things we here seldom is african-americans speaking about the iortance of bridging the blue line. is this notion that there is a
bina choice. on enforcement on one side and counities of color on the other side. that simply doe not exist. i would say that's a binary choice, some real. so if my experiences really informed and educated prayed and frankly, my positive experiences at help me understand without any question that the vast majority of law enforcement officers see their jobs as a mission. to do good, go home and take care of their families. and by the way jim,ive years ago, we did a tour throught south carolina bringing black leaders in the majority of officers tether to have a conversation. we learned a lot in those sessions for the things we learned was there is no such thing as a normal traffic stop. and for officer theyearn quickly that the disproportionate share of
african-american men had negative expernces and anyf them unnecessaly so with law enforcemt. so the education process across every line was really important an very helpful. we spend more time not demonizing the other side,nd spend a lot more time finding solutions tether . if i hope we were able to dohrough the fleece the fouh legislation that i have provided. jim: i think it's an important role that you played here in sort of bridging this binary. something that when you look at the polling data, heard about this summer in the national review. blk americans to have a nuanced view here. most do not want to defund the police. fairly large percentageant to increase the policing in the neighborhood. scott: they were the place to behave a little differently and understand the situations that they face. and that is that somethi was a part of the justice acting the part that has been separately
enacted and i'm glad to say. since that you sort of critically wted to focus on was that you nee unique situati, justice policing but young men and boysn partilar. something that touchese although i'm obviously a white ma so carson is goi to be facing some of the same sorts of issues. so you propose creatin an now created a commission on socia status of black men and boys. and i for one believe i is quite possle to be very committed to general colorblindness as a legal principleut also to the racially impacts of hundred than our criminal jtice prisons. no doubt the policing of facts african-american and american men and korean american women quite differently. what led to creation of this mission what are your aspirations r the commission of on the social status of black men and boys.
scott: i think he said something very important. what our legal system to be colorblind. were not colorblind so the goal is to have a system and does not look 31 of the color of our skin before they decide what level of justice they get. unfortunately, it does not seem to be the casell the time. so we are focusin on left boys and black m is a really important part of improving the station and if w can do so, without discrimination against the others but it is way fors to focus our attention on se of the vulnerable links in the chain as a relates to economic ability educational achievements, a interaction with law enforcement. as in the salerno say again that my onion, the fastest way for us to deal with police rorm has nothing to do with the legal system. it has everything to do with the underpinnings of a healthy economy, the underpinnings of
excellent education and then producing excellent outcomes from a good education system. wepend more time and precursors of the police reform. en we would have spend less time on police reform itself. ere is an economic upon it that was really important. as we study the outcomes of ack men in black boys, will uncover some of these important specific ugliness in a direction that is nothi to do with the gal system. everything to do with economic mobility and educational achievement and want to give high marks to marco rubio who literally came up with thedea of the coalition focusing of black boys like midnight simply include his legislation in my justice reform package. is because of his persona experience that led him to this important focus and i certainly endoe that concept as well. >> i'm glado see the lease and
thank god through congress on this. they have launched a nly public safety, this is hardly her 31cored in the space. manhattan institute was instrumental in developing the intellecal framework with a proactive policing policy to help push the homicide rate in new york. in the big apple down from more than 2200 a year in the early 1990s to only 289n 2018. which is a remarkable number of lives saved and disproportionately black and hispanic men. since then though, we seem backsliding. this year we saw 50 percent grace in theoderate in dublin shootings . we lauhed our new addition tinitiative. and some of it may be due to the covid-19 lockdown but we he seen of the last several yea a
substantial spike and other larg cities like chicago. that obviously are differences in how communities approach the public safety and placing . new york and chicago are not alike for cities such as charleston was a suburban areas and rural areas. but how do these urban crime spikes in from the way you begin to think about approaching policing reform in congress. sct: one of the things is that you measure the spike in violent crimes in the launch of the justice act as well as the justice conversation. the more we donize law enforcement, the more we discourage them from patrolling certain areas of the more likely you are to see the spike in crime and frankly, we see that clearly on the streets of new york. there is no question that the correlation between demonizing the police offers, and taking
folks off ttreets. in the police offers on the street, nonuniform officers and undercover officers off the street. it is having a dramaticmpact on crimes. forcing it throuout the country. the major cities around the country all see an increase in crime. in defending the police . we talk about criminalizing their behavior. talk about negative reliable for their reactions and actions. section 1983 blood section 242 the really makes it easier for us to lock up officers for doi parts of their job and frankly, those officers being civilly liable for what happe while on duty. dessert very strong things for police officer to deal with. they lov doing which is taking care of o communities. those fights inrimes will continue as longor having these conversations. e spikes in crime.
jimandefending police and making qualifd and making the officers personally liable. any of a decisio between your family and do your job. if you have t think for split second, is a problem. can eliminate the problem by making sure you maintain the same level. that's not to say that officers should not be held responsible r their actions. they absolutely should be hel as possible but the question is at what level what threshold read in the current threshold is one that iupport. we should keep it is nothe position that her friends in the inside of the aisle think. it's one of the reasonshy they see legislation installed. they want to enforce the demonizaon of officers to the part of policy apparatus tha i refuse to include those issues in the legislative issues. jim: there's definitely some partisanivide that is prevented action on this issue.
and you tked about some of that in the qualified with other issues another difference is i see it, reading your justice act and the democrat alternative. i would say your approach is someat less heavy-handed and little less direcve. what the state and local gornments are doing. in the jusce in the policing act. in the democratic alternative ried to be make some sense. and of course as we mentioned the difference between big cities, small cies and suburbs and rural areas etc. and also you seem to be focused in your legislation a lot on gathering more data trying to inform future decision-making t having all the answers that we may want today. what do you see is the princal advantages of your firms. scott: one thing that i'd like to say in thi two different questions that you're asking. number one, i do not believe that we should ever nationalize
police. and t democrats have taken a very different position in some of the legislation. whenever you say, that we must banned the chokehold. in my opinion, the federal government does n have the ability to do that i the local level. one of the reasons why there legislation speaks to banning the chokehold but is not directed to be banned in the local levels because they cannot . we don't pan themnd local level we do provide incentive for it. that's an important disnction and one that we should maintain. nationalization of police is a terrible idea for the mmunities in which they serve. having grown up in single-parent old, and in poverty the last thing tt i want is a federal governme in washington dc helping them figure out what to do and what tacticso use not use. is that the best way for us to understand and appreciate the
nuances to 18000 police jurisdictions is to have data data data. th clearer the data, the clearer the direction and the more we should resource those solutis. of the other really important part ofhat delineations that we shoul support local law enforcemt time or money, not less mon to their efforts. it a city of minneapolis that had the power with a liberal mayor and city council, they had the power to do their own police reform. cleveland, los angeles, dallas, charlottesville, charleston, kenosha. every localurisdiction hashe ability to ban the chokehold and have a duty to intervene. training on de-escalation. some of these jurisdictions need
may be more resources to enact better policy. they make need the 18000 departmes. any the best practices that they can use to employ to make it better for the citizens within the jurisdiction freighted with national policy, the national standards, can be established without having the national policy. the of the things we work under my legislaon. but we do not believe one size console. in8000 police jurisdictions. therefore, leaving this decision to the unique and specific decions to the jurisdiction is really important if w are to improve the outcome. and frankly, one of the things that is missing inhe conversation is things are instantly better today looking at the data statistically speaking than they were even five years ago. and that is alessing for those
folkwho feel nervous than they should. from being stopped by the police. jim: so we talked ait about the differences in encroachment there is not want to ehasize a lot of overlap between your bill the democrat alternative. each bill would create an long last anti- lynching law. each has polic priority. the policy priorities related to recent controversial police tions. the use of force standards. is call the george floyd and walter scott for the stranded hundd standard traditions, breonna taylo act. each would tie up grant mon to the purchase and use of police body cameras. given their so much overlap and obviously we just had an election there's sll a couple of pending in your bod but given that focus. it why new perspective there been n ability to the party to
compromise and congres in light of the clear public support for release of the reforms. >> i wish thenswer was also simple. it's purely political. folks have been willing to use the issue ofolice brutality as a issue on the campaign trail. someing that as this election and is finally, will have a chance to go backo the board and get something done. literally some of my friends, just be blunt. the ngressional black caucus is in the democrats in the house have been talking with me the last few months since june or july of the justice act. they haveemained engaged in conversati. my friends in the senate on the her side of apologized to me for what they felt was an politically motivated required by their construct.
this attpt pill to swallow for me. as a person understands very vulnerable natur of too any citizens and too any of these communities and our ability to respond swiftly was frozen and paralyzed because o the presidential politics and the importance of having an issue on the table and not giving esident trump anoth victory for the communities of color on top of hbcus and oppornities, top of all the issues that we fought for and frankly iive the other side 20 amendments to change every facet of the bell that they disagreed wit . did not tell them i wouldupport it but they would have 2 amendments to change anything they wanted to. what is that importance. i believe you know this better than do. 81 percent offrican-americans is that they want moreoney and more patrols. and that means that the two
sides aren't listening to the ve vulnerable people that they serve. if we know that four out of five african americans want more police presence, why are we talking about defending place. if you have 2 amendments to change the bill. why are you holding t legislation up. d then they went to the floor and senate. my friends on the inside and he said that they were frustrated that we didn't even have a chance to debate the justi reform act. will the reason we didn' i because they voted it down. it was remarkable to see tha on the for. just a few months after they said no to the justice act. >> is discoaging but i guess politics is politics fre is good t hea if you're keeping those lines of communication open and talking to the folks and hopefully, as a political season ends, will be able to move forward on some of this prevents a lot of questions. is there anyhing that i didn't as for initiative.
anything else that you would ke to share with the audience. scott: one of the things that so important. a true police reform isot the answer to all things happening in the minority community as a relateto police interactions. including education, that is critical. improving economic mobility is essential. if we look at those two pillars as part of the conversation out social justice and police reform . we would have a clear picture with more progress and fewer deaths and fewer violations and certainly, more collaboration ande focus 31 on economic mobility and education outcome. that is more important than i can spend in any other issue in my opinion. and i was talking to som famous
african-american actors and they all said the same thing. economic empowerment is more importt than police reform. i was like wow. in the they said they would say that publicly but not until after the election. because they got l up on cnn for making statements contrary to their current dialogue political dialogue onhe left. nba players, nfl players, actors, all the african-american community the o thing that they say is that things like school choice and opportunities that are tied together gives t community a better way forward. in and of itsf, de-escalate the situation they face on a daily basis. i was stunned frankly by some of the political actors and athletes wereeinforcing the same thing my conseative friends say all the time.
that tells me there's a reason for us to be optimistic a hopeful about what we can accomplish over the next several months. if we put politics to the se, the color lines to the side of the blue uniforms and the black scans, but all that to the se. it's our thinking isne market family. will do some things that will shock the world. jim: your optimism is infectious senator. it is so good to hear someone who is willing to reach across the aisle to talk to anybody and try to fix theroblems and be solution oriented freedom want to thank you so much for taking the time speaking to us today and share your perspectiven this vally important issue. again, is one issue area. it an issue that in some ways is an outcome. and you're talking a lot about the input. i think it's always important to remember. as our audience knows, the policing of public safety sms
to build on any of the things that we talked about today. we will continueo engage on those things. the same spi and continue to talk to you and other leaders going forward. thank you for joining us senator thank you for reaching out and we really appreciate your time. scott: let me just say to t manhattan institute and the surround policing . thank you for doing so. thank you for leaning into these issues. iope you take seriously the ises around those precursors, the pillars that are so important to economic mobility and educational choice. those issues will have profound impac on communities of color as well as your son. these things will set us up for success in way that nothinglse can. god bless you and thank you for taking the time and having me on. jim: thank you so much senator for joining us.
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