Daines signs on to JUSTICE Act as Congress explores police reforms

Sen. Steve Daines this week signed on to bill aimed at reforming law enforcement policies, saying it will help increase accountability and transparency and provide incentives to limit controversial tactics.

The JUSTICE Act was introduced by Senate Republicans on Wednesday and included the leadership of Sen. Tim Scott, the chamber’s only African American Republican.

Daines is a cosponsor of the bill.

“The men and women who serve our communities in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect our families, and a few bad actors have reflected poorly upon the values of their service,” Daines said in a video statement. “We must work to restore confidence between our communities and law enforcement, and this bipartisan bill does just that by increasing accountability, transparency and training.”

The JUSTICE Act seeks to reform law enforcement practices by improving officer training and hiring. It discourages the use of certain tactics, including chokeholds, and adds new reporting requirements when tactics such as Use of Force and No Knock Warrants are used.

It also requires a full report to the FBI after a law enforcement officer discharges a weapon, and it creates two commissions that will study and offer solutions to the challenges facing African American men and boys.

The measure also reduces grants for states that fail to use body cameras.

“This provides real solutions to what we’re facing today and will help ensure a safe and equal justice system for every American,” Daines said.

In an interview with reporters after the measure’s unveiling, Scott urged others to overcome the suggestions that one is either for African American communities or for law enforcement.

It’s not a choice of one or the other, he said.

“Too often we’re having a discussion in this nation: Are you supporting law enforcement or communities of color? This is a false binary choice. The answer to the question is, ‘I support America. You support America. It is not a binary choice. This legislation encompasses that spirit,” ABC News quoted Scott as saying.