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Booker: End of police reform negotiations a 'frustrating experience'

The Hill logo The Hill 9/26/2021 Monique Beals
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) addresses reporters during a press conference on Thursday, July 15, 2021 to discuss the Child Tax Credit payments being sent out. © Greg Nash Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) addresses reporters during a press conference on Thursday, July 15, 2021 to discuss the Child Tax Credit payments being sent out.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Sunday described the end of bipartisan police reform negotiations as a "frustrating experience."

"It was a frustrating experience in the sense that we had the biggest civil rights demonstrations in this country's history asking for change," Booker said during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."

"We wanted to have more transparency, higher professional standards and real accountability. If you break the law, you shouldn't be shielded from that," he added.

Booker added that while "good faith negotiations" resulted in endorsements from powerful law enforcement groups, the reform effort still failed.


Video: Booker: 'I’m still working' on police reform (NBC News)

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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who was negotiating reform efforts with Booker, said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the bill advocated for "defunding the police."

"We said simply this: 'I'm not going to participate in reducing funding for the police after we saw a major city after major city defund the police,' " Scott said of Republican demands in the negotiations.

Booker, however, argued on CNN that the reform would have allocated "millions of dollars more" to resources that would have benefited officers.

"We want to help officers with mental health issues. We want to collect more data, so we should give more resources," Booker said.

Police reform talks ended last week after failed bipartisan negotiations.

"After months of exhausting every possible pathway to a bipartisan deal, it remains out of reach right now," Booker said in a statement at the time.

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