As homicides and shootings surge across the country, Tim Scott, senator of South Carolina, is laser-focused on police reform.
After being praised by the New York Times, and saying he’s personally been stopped 18 times for “driving while Black,” Scott appears to believe the issue that needs most attention is the police and addressing the major issues for bipartisan police reform.
Scott’s effort to pass police reform began last year in the wake of George Floyd’s death, and the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
In a recent joint statement with Democratic senator Cory Booker, Scott claimed that the ‘murder’ of George Floyd led to a racial reckoning America, causing Americans to agree that we need to urgently do something about the police.
Colleagues and close friends of Scott say his thinking on race began to shift in 2015, after his hometown, Charleston, experienced the shooting by a white police officer of an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, and then the shooing by Dylan Roof at Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
This was also around the same time that Black Lives Matter protests ramped up after the shooting death of Michael Brown, and the inception of ‘Hand up Don’t Shoot.’
Despite it since being established that Brown never actually said ‘Hands up Don’t Shoot’ – and instead charged at the police officer after strong-arming a convenience store clerk – the mantra lives on to this day.
“We can all sense the opportunity that is before us,” Scott said on the Senate floor recently. “More than at any time I can remember, people of all ages and races are standing up together for the idea that Lady Justice must be blind,” Scott said.
In a response to former President Trump calling to replace the ‘ineffective and weak’ Republican leadership, Mitch McConnell said that the GOP is a progressive party that is looking to the future ‘not the past.’ McConnell said if you would like to see ‘the future of the GOP, ‘ look at Tim Scott.
The Cause of the Crime Surge
Despite some claims that the surge in crime is due to the pandemic, crime rates are increasing only for a few specific categories—namely homicides and shootings—while property crimes and robberies mostly continue to fall. Historically there is no link between short periods of economic disruption and murder rates.
The current surge in homicide is not happening in other countries, and only present in certain parts of the United States among certain populations.
According to studies, the recent spikes in homicides have been caused by a “Minneapolis
Effect,” similar to the earlier “Ferguson Effect, directly after the protests.
According to most economists and criminologists, the reason for the surge in homicides is indeed due to police demoralization, and police ‘backing down’ from enforcement in the face of public backlash. Police across the nation are either retiring at record rates, or transferring out of Black majority cities due to stigma caused by the protests and riots. The cost of policing for them outweighs the benefits, especially with the push for the removal of qualified immunity.
FBI data show that for every 10,000 black Americans arrested for violent crime, 3 are killed, yet for every 10,000 white Americans arrested for violent crime, 4 are killed. Black police officer on black perpetrator accounts for many of the black victim of police killings as well.
Many claims that what police need now is more funding and more support, not less support and more stigma. A long list of scientific studies disprove racial bias in police shootings, leaving many conservatives questioning why Senator Scott is focusing on police reform and not crime reform.