(CNN)A bipartisan group of lawmakers working on legislative efforts to overhaul policing appear to be nearing an agreement to set federal standards for no-knock warrants, ban chokeholds except in life-threatening situations and place limits on equipment the Defense Department can send to state and local police departments, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
Sens. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, and Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, and Rep. Karen Bass, a California Democrat, have been leading the charge to craft a bipartisan bill that can pass the 60-vote threshold in the United States Senate, and with the chamber returning to Washington on Monday, in-person talks between the key negotiators are expected to continue.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the details of the tentative agreement.
While progress has been made on what’s known as the 1033 program, which allows for the transfer of military equipment from the Department of Defense to state and local police departments, two major issues remain. One of them is qualified immunity, which protects police officers from civil lawsuits. Scott has proposed shifting the responsibility to police departments as opposed to individual officers. Democrats have said both the officers and departments should be held accountable.
Another key sticking point includes Section 242, a part of federal law which sets the standard for criminally prosecuting police officers. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House with no Republican support in March, calls for changing the language so police officers can be charged for “reckless” conduct as opposed to the current “willful” misconduct, a change that would lower the standard for prosecuting police officers. Scott has said the issue is a red line for him.
“It’s a negotiation. Nothing is ever off the table until the deal is done,” another source familiar with the talks told CNN last week.
White House involvement
Through senior aides Susan Rice, director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Cedric Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, the White House is closely monitoring the congressional police reform talks through communications with multiple participants. The White House Office of Legislative Affairs and White House Counsel’s office are also involved. As Republi
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