The three key bipartisan negotiators on policing reform met for an hour Wednesday and appeared to have hit a setback over whether officers should continue to be protected from civil lawsuits, after a House Democratic leader said this weekend that so-called qualified immunity could be left out of any compromise.
“Right now, especially on the House side, it’s our position that qualified immunity has to be eliminated,” said Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., added that he and Bass are “very determined” on stripping officers of legal protection from lawsuits.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the lead GOP negotiator, leaving the hour-long meeting by a exit different from Bass and Booker, when told of the congresswoman’s position, responded, “I’m on the exact opposite side.”
On Sunday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn — when asked if he would support a compromise that did not end the immunity protections — said, “I will never sacrifice good on the altar of perfect. I just won’t do that.”