During an appearance on MSNBC Thursday, former Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta criticized Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina on police reform.
“What really strikes me when you talk about Sen. Tim Scott is that this is an African American man who knows the statistics,” Bottoms, who serves as Director of the Office of Public Engagement for President Joe Biden, told MSNBC host Chris Jansing. “African Americans are more than twice as likely to be killed than white Americans in these deadly encounters with police officers.”
Bottoms’ remarks come after the funeral on Wednesday of Tyre Nichols, who died three days after an incident with Memphis police officers on January 7. In the aftermath of the incident, five former police officers face several charges, including second-degree murder.
After the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis in 2020, Scott offered police reform legislation, but Senate Democrats stopped it with a filibuster that summer. Scott has spoken out against moves to defund police forces as well as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which is supported by the Biden administration.
“What we know is that this legislation made it through the House. The Senate stopped. It. Tim Scott helped stop this legislation,” Bottoms said. “So we need senators to act. We need members of the house to act, and the president is going to continue to use the power of his pen from the White House to do what he can do to make sure what we witnessed with Tyre Nichols, what was experienced by his family is not experienced by other families across this country.”
A representative for Scott forwarded us 2 tweets in which the senator expresses his opposition to the legislation described by Bottoms. “I’ve been working on common ground options that have a chance of passing,” Scott explained.