IN Focus: Young, Braun, Carson on police reform proposals

Washington DC Bureau

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — After a week of nationwide protests, some of which turned violent, Democrats in Washington Monday unveiled a sweeping set of legislation aimed at police reform.

The legislation contains changes Democrats say need to happen and whether they have any support from Republicans.

Democrats call their plan the “Justice In Policing Act.”

“This is a first step,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said.

As it stands, the legislation would ban police chokeholds, prohibit no-knock warrants, create a national police misconduct registry, and limit so-called “qualified immunity” which makes it harder for people to sue police departments over alleged misconduct.

“It’s an issue where Democrats and Republicans can come together and agree,” said Indiana Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).

Carson also wants to do more, saying he and several of his colleagues “are looking at creating a committee that can provide some federal oversight and regular hearings as it relates to police misconduct and police action shootings.”

The White House said some proposals, like ending immunity, are non-starters, but didn’t say which parts President Donald Trump would support, if any.

“He hasn’t reviewed that yet,” said White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEneny. “He’s looking at a number of proposals.”

Another set of proposals are also making news across the country, with some calling on lawmakers to “defund” the police. But what does that mean exactly?

“So defund, if it means we’re going to give police departments and communities less money, I’m 100 percent opposed to that,” said Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN) in an interview this week.

Pence says it’s time to empower first responders.

“They need more support, they don’t need less support,” he said.

But Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) says Republicans are exploiting the phrase’s ambiguity.

“I mean this is an opportunity unfortunately for Republicans to try to paint Democrats as being anti-police,” Carson said. “Democrats are not anti-police. We’re for better policing.”

Carson, who is also a former police officer, says better policing means more accountability and less militarization.

“It also means allotting those funds to have case workers on site dealing with citizens as well,” said Carson.

“That may mean outsourcing some of the responsibilities of a police force to social workers… to health care workers and others… if that’s what people mean by defund, that’s a different sort of thing,” said Sen. Todd Young (R-IN). “But I understand many different people who are calling for radical change, defunding of our police forces all together, and that strikes me as a dangerous, very bad idea and the last thing that our black communities or any of our communities need at this point in our history.”

You can see more of our interviews with Rep. Carson, Sen. Young and Sen. Mike Braun on this week’s edition of IN Focus, which airs every Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on CBS4 and again at 9:30 a.m. on FOX59.

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