U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has put her support behind a House companion to Senate legislation that requires law enforcement to report officer-involved shooting information to the U.S. Department of Justice to secure federal funding.
Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, along with Reps. William Timmons, R-South Carolina, Ben Cline, R-Virginia, Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Dan Bishop, R-North Carolina, have introduced companion legislation in the House to a bill from Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, the Walter Scott Notification Act.
The legislation bears the name of Walter Scott, who in 2015 was shot in the back several times as he was running away from a police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina after being pulled over for a broken brake light.
Under the legislation, states would be required to submit several data points including, name, race, description of event, and overall circumstances that led to the weapon being discharged. States that fail to follow the requirements could be subject to a 10 percent reduction in federal grant funds.
“It’s time for Congress to take action and ensure law enforcement better protects and serves all citizens, but we can’t do that without a full understanding of the data around police-involved incidents,” said Herrera Beutler. The Congresswoman said the Walter Scott Notification Act “will help compile information about officer-involved shootings and ultimately allow us to enact long-lasting solutions that bring about the justice our nation is demanding.”
“Without proper data in regards to officer-related shootings, we cannot find lasting solutions in this area,” said Scott. “As we continue working towards impactful, long-term reforms, I want to thank my friend Congressman Timmons for introducing this important legislation in the House.”
Herrera Beutler said the legislation was “but a step in the process of ending racial injustice,” adding there was still “much more work to do.”
— The Reflector