Stronger Together: Police reform discussion goes from the streets to the halls of Congress

Stronger Together

WASHINGTON (WFXR) — The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of law enforcement has brought back up the national discussion on police reform.

Mirginia Sheffey, President of Lynchburg RISE, said we need to change the system.

“We need to focus on rehabilitation versus being a punitive system and that’s the problem facing America right now,” Sheffey said.

Sheffey said the reason these big movements are happenings is because we all witnessed these acts.

“The fact that everyone is now complicit in this were all witnesses in it, we all are required to take action,” Sheffey said.

U.S Representative Ben Cline (R-Va.) from Virginia’s 6th district and co-sponsor of a police reform bill said he would make it harder for bad cops.

“My amendment would have made sure police union contracts could not include protective provisions that would have protected bad officers like getting rid of disciplinary reports after a few years. Those type of things should be available, accessible and transparent for the public to see and keep bad cops from jumping from department to department,” Cline said.

Cline said enacting change at the state and local government level will make the most effective changes.

“A lot of the decision from the congressional level is going to be related to funding. We want to leave decision making to state and local government but encourage them to move in a certain direction,” said Cline.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) supports police reform on the national level.

“I think we have a big burden on our shoulder on the federal level,” Kaine said.

The Virginia senator said a reform bill he would support would look like:

“Ban on chokeholds, ban on no knock warrants, racial and religious profiling,” Kaine said.

Kaine said police reform is something America needs bipartisan support on.

“Not only is the issue important but America would like to see everyone together on it, not partisan as usual,” Kaine said.

Brent Orrell, Resident Fellow at American Enterprise Institute said he doesn’t think a police reform bill will be passed this session.

“I think there are elements on both side that doesn’t want to compromise right now because it’s such an important issue to so many people and both parties,” said Orrell.

Watch this weekend’s “Stronger Together” in its entirety below.

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