Rick Scott Urges Police Reform Based on Successful 'Best Practices' Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., speaks to supporters at a phone bank with Martha McSally, R-Ariz., on Oct. 29, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)
Sunday, 25 April 2021 10:37 AM
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said Congress should take up a police reform platform that focuses on transparency — and emphasizes “best practices” that have been proven successful.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Scott touted reforms first forwarded by fellow GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.
“What we ought to do is … find best practices,” he said. “If you go back to what Tim Scott proposed, let's have more transparency so we can find out what's working and what's not working. In his bill, we had incentives to stop chokeholds, as an example. But I think you start with more transparency.”
Scott said he worked out reforms when he was governor of Florida.
“You sit down with law enforcement and say, okay, what can we do to be better, and why are some officers better, some departments better than others,” he said. “Rather than saying, oh, everybody is doing the wrong thing” and creating an incentive for “people not to do their job.”
He also warned against establishing hard-and-fast standards for lawsuits against the police.
“[What] I’m not going to do is put our law enforcement community in a position that they’ve got to second-guess themselves when they're trying to make sure people are staying safe,” he said. “When I left as governor two years ago, we were at a 47-year low in our crime rate, and that's what I want to focus on.”
“The vast majority of law enforcement officers show up every day, put their lives on the risk every day, and do the right thing,” he added.
He acknowledged the spate of police-involved killings, including that of convicted ex-cop Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, is “horrible,” but noted the risk officers face in the line of duty.
“Fifty one law enforcement officers in my eight years as governor [lost] their lives in line of duty, showing up and defending people's safety each and every day,” he said. “We've got to respect our law enforcement community and then figure out how can … everybody in our community [stay] safe.”
“That’s what Republicans are trying to do all across the country, keep people safe,” he added.