Tim Scott Slams Dick Durbin for Referring to His Police Reform Bill as a ‘Token’ Measure

AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) clapped back at Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) after the Senate minority whip dismissed his police reform bill as a “token”measure.

“Y’all still wearing those kente cloths over there @SenatorDurbin?” Scott asked in response to Durbin’s criticisms and seemingly deliberate use of the word “token”:

Durbin, during his floor speech, appealed to the demands of the protesters, who he said are charging lawmakers with making a change.

“‘You’re supposed to be in charge; you’re supposed to have the authority,’” he said of the protesters’ demands.

“So what we say on the Democratic side is we cannot waste this historic moment, this singular opportunity,” the minority whip continued. “Let’s not do something that is a token, half-hearted approach”:

Scott’s dig follows several prominent Democrat Party lawmakers — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) — donning Kente cloths last week as they knelt for a nearly nine-minute moment of silence in honor of George Floyd and as a show against police brutality:


Their decision drew sharp criticisms from figures on both sides of the ideological aisle:

Republicans on Wednesday unveiled their police reform bill, known as the Justice Act:

The GOP legislation would beef up requirements for law enforcement to compile use-of-force reports under a new George Floyd and Walter Scott Notification Act, named for the Minnesota man whose May 25 death sparked worldwide protests over police violence, and Scott, a South Carolina man shot by police after a traffic stop in 2015. Scott is not related to the senator.

It would also establish the Breonna Taylor Notification Act to track “no-knock” warrants. The 26-year-old was killed this year after police in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky used a no-knock warrant to enter her Louisville home.

Focusing on ending chokeholds, the legislation encourages agencies to do away with the practice or risk losing federal funds — but does not require them to do so. Many big city departments have long stopped the use. The legislation also provides funding for training to “de-escalate” situations and establish a “duty to intervene” protocol to prevent excessive force.

“We hear you,” Scott said. “I think this package speaks very clearly to the young person and his concern when he stopped by law enforcement officers.”

Scott faced backlash earlier this month for drafting the bill and issued a forceful response on social media.

“Not surprising the last 24 hours have seen a lot of ‘token’ ‘boy’ or ‘you’re being used’ in my mentions,” he said.

“Let me get this straight…you DON’T want the person who has faced racial profiling by police, been pulled over dozens of times, or been speaking out for YEARS drafting this?” Scott asked.

“And don’t throw ‘you’re the only black guy they know’ at me either. There are only two black Democratic Senators, stop pretending there’s some huge racial diversity gap in the Senate,” he pointed out.

” Ask my Dem colleagues what their staffs look like…I guarantee you won’t like the answer,” the lawmaker added:


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