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Herrera Beutler, Timmons, Cline, Hurd, and Bishop Introduce Senator Tim Scott’s Walter Scott Notification Act in the House

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Washington, June 11, 2020 | comments

Today, U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, along with Reps. William Timmons, Ben Cline, Will Hurd, and Dan Bishop introduced companion legislation in the House to Senator Tim Scott’s bill, the Walter Scott Notification ActThe Walter Scott Notification Act would require states receiving federal funding for law enforcement to report any officer-involved shooting where an individual is involved in an altercation and is not in police custody to the Department of Justice.

“It’s time for Congress to take action and ensure law enforcement better protects and serves all citizens, but we can’t do that without a full understanding of the data around police-involved incidents,” said Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03). One action I’m taking is helping introduce the House companion to Senator Tim Scott’s bill, the Walter Scott Notification Act, which will help compile information about officer-involved shootings and ultimately allow us to enact long-lasting solutions that bring about the justice our nation is demanding. This is but a step in the process of ending racial injustice – we still have much more work to do.”

“Without proper data in regards to officer-related shootings, we cannot find lasting solutions in this area,” said Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). “As we continue working towards impactful, long-term reforms, I want to thank my friend Congressman Timmons for introducing this important legislation in the House.”

“As Congress considers legislation on police reforms, it is imperative that we have better data to allow us the ability to make informed policy decisions surrounding officer-involved shootings.” said Rep. William Timmons (SC-04). “I want to thank my good friend, Senator Tim Scott, for his leadership on the Walter Scott Notification Act. I look forward to getting the information we need with the aim of restoring trust between law enforcement and the people they serve in every community.”

“As Congress strives to make critical reforms to policing, the Walter Scott Notification Act will serve as an important resource to law enforcement officials and policy makers in helping them understand and hopefully prevent officer-involved shootings in the future,” said Rep. Ben Cline (VA-06). “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this much needed legislation.”

“Combating issues of police violence, like we’ve seen in recent weeks, requires more than a change in hearts and minds – it requires a change in law,” said Rep. Will Hurd (TX-23). A first step we should all agree on is to collect data and create a modern-day system to track police shootings. This is addressed by the Walter Scott Notification Actand that’s why I’m joining my colleagues in introducing the bill. This information will be an invaluable resource for law enforcement, the public and policymakers. The more we know, the safer we can make our streets and communities.”

“On the path to fixing clear injustices, we must increase oversight and transparency,” said Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-09). “Increasing reporting of incidents that take place outside of police custody will give the Department of Justice a full picture of police incidents that occur across the country. Only when we understand the full scope of the problem, can we begin to find solutions.”

 

Background:

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) first introduced the Walter Scott Notification Act following the tragic murder of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. Walter Scott was shot in the back several times as he was running away from a police officer after being pulled over for a broken brake light. He was unarmed. This is the first time this legislation has been introduced in the House.

Under the legislation, states would be required to submit several data points including, name, race, description of event, and overall circumstances that led to the weapon being discharged. States that fail to abide by the requirements could be subject to a ten percent reduction in federal grant funds.

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