Bipartisan policing talks officially end

After months of negotiating, the bipartisan talks around overhauling policing laws have broken down without a deal.

Sen. Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey, made clear in a private conversation with Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the chief Republican negotiator on the issue, that bipartisan policing talks are over.

Booker, Scott and Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California spent some six months trying to hash out a deal that could win 60 votes in the Senate, but talks were stymied by a number of complicated issues like qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that protects police officers from being sued in civil court.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bass told CNN the talks were not in a good place.

“I think it’s because things have not moved forward,” Bass said. “At a certain point, you have to say, are we going to move forward or not — and I think we are trying to determine if we’re at that point.”

Scott told CNN on Wednesday morning he was not planning to walk away from the negotiating table.

“Of course not,” he said when asked if he would pull out.

“It’s too important to the communities that we serve for anyone to get up and walk away at this point when we’re so close. We’re not in disagreement on any of the issues, we’re now working on the language within the agreement and if we walk away now, we walk away on that finish line,” Scott said.

Scott has said previously these negotiations could take years.

Earlier this year, the policing talks were seen by many on the Hill as having the best chance of actually turning into bipartisan legislation. With the talks’ demise, President Joe Biden sees another one of his legislative priorities stall out in Congress.

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