COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Sen. Tim Scott is bringing the national conversation on policing and justice to South Carolina.
Scott, the only Black Republican senator, was joined by U.S. Attorney General William Barr in meeting with community leaders in the state, as well as law enforcement on Wednesday.
Both meetings with church leaders and law enforcement were closed to the press. In between meetings, Barr and Scott took some questions.
The attorney general was in South Carolina to show support for Scott’s police reform bill -- also known as the JUSTICE Act. According to Scott, the legislation would increases transparency among law enforcement agencies and discourage the use of chokeholds.
Scott said the meetings in South Carolina will help him come up with ideas to amend the bill.
Barr said one of the biggest concerns brought up to him in the meeting with community leaders was body camera funding and racial profiling in law enforcement.
Both issues are addressed in Scott’s bill.
Barr said he believes the best way to make change in law enforcement is to find the right balance.
“It’s not defunding the police or doing away with the police or demonizing the police -- nor is it giving short shrift to the legitimate concerns that are out there about police abuses and overreach,” he said.
The South Carolina Democratic Party sent WIS a statement in response to Barr’s visit. They wrote:
Scott said he is working closely with House Democrats who also have a police reform bill in the works. He said he would like to work together on some ideas to see if they can drum up enough bipartisan support.
Senate Democrats voted to block debate on Scott’s JUSTICE Act -- essentially stalling the legislation.