Tim Scott is pivotal figure as Tyre Nichols beating rekindles talk of police reform

Presidential politics are hanging over efforts to rekindle police reform in Congress after the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols at the hands of police in Memphis.


The lead Republican negotiator in the talks, Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), is widely believed to be exploring a presidential bid and Republican strategists warn any deal with Democrats could set him back.


Senate Republicans are expecting Scott, the only Black member of the Senate GOP conference, to take the lead in negotiating with Democrats after he spent months during the last Congress trying to hammer out a police reform deal with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and former Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.).


GOP aides and strategists are doubtful that any reform deal can be passed by Congress that won’t become a political liability for Scott given demands by Democrats to open individual police officers to personal legal liability for alleged misconduct.