President Donald Trump will not consider signing any police reform legislation that includes changes to qualified immunity for police officers, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed Wednesday.
Democrats proposed a sweeping police reform bill on Tuesday, leaving Republicans scrambling to respond. The Democratic bill calls for changing qualified immunity as well as making it easier for police to be convicted in use-of-force cases, according to the New York Times. Qualified immunity protects police officers from civil lawsuits.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the man leading the Republican effort to draft a response, has mirrored Trump’s language in saying changes to qualified immunity are off the table. (RELATED:Republicans Silent After Trump Suggests 75-Year-Old Protester Injured By Police Was A ‘Set Up’)
“Each issue is being looked at as to what would make a difference,” McEnany said at Wednesday’s conference. “One thing that AG Barr said was that in the Democrat bill they talked about needing to reduce immunity to go after bad cops… that is one thing that is a non starter.
The Republican bill would instead expand data collection for instances of police use of force, increase funding for body camera initiatives, and potentially create consequences for officers not using their body cameras. Critically, however Scott confirmed Senate Republicans are not working in tandem with the White House on the issue. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: State Dept Goes To War With Fired IG, Accuses Him Of Breaking Chain Of Command To Protect Himself From Past Investigation)
“We are on a separate track from White House,” Scott told reporters Tuesday. “I have been talking with folks in the White House about the track they’re on as well, certainly there is a way for us all to work together, but we’ve been in discussion with them for several days.”
McEnany said earlier Wednesday that Trump was considering an executive order on police reform separate from legislation in Congress, though he has made no announcement as to what would be in such an order.