With Democrats and Republicans still locked in debate over the final details of an impending reform bill on policing, Sen. Tim Scott (R.-S.C.) has proposed a compromise on the sticking point of qualified immunity that would allow civil suits to be brought against departments instead of weakening qualified immunity for individual officers, reports Vox.
Scott’s idea is inspired by similar practices in both the medical and legal fields, in which the industry itself is held responsible for the actions of its employees. Scott believes that police departments bearing the burden of misconduct in law enforcement will result in a necessary culture shift that will eventually decrease instances of misconduct overall. His proposal went over well with the family members of victims of police and has garnered support among Democrats who see it as proof of Scott’s willingness to make progress on police reform.
However, even if Democrats decide to accept Scott’s compromise legislation, the problem of acquiring 10 Republican votes still remains, and some Republicans, such as Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), see qualified immunity reform is a non-starter. In addition, progressive Democrats, such as Representative Cori Bush, who said she would vote against Scott’s proposal, might be opposed to compromise legislation on grounds of it being inadequate.