Sen. Tim Scott fires back at claims he's being 'used' by GOP to draft police reform bill

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., forcefully pushed back on criticisms that he was being used as a "token" in Republicans' push for policing reform after George Floyd's death.

"Not surprising the last 24 hours have seen a lot of 'token' 'boy' or 'you’re being used' in my mentions," Scott tweeted on Wednesday. "Let me get this straight...you DON’T want the person who has faced racial profiling by police, been pulled over dozens of times, or been speaking out for YEARS drafting this?"

He added: "And don’t throw 'you’re the only black guy they know' at me either. There are only two black Democratic Senators, stop pretending there’s some huge racial diversity gap in the Senate. Ask my Dem colleagues what their staffs look like...I guarantee you won’t like the answer."

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Scott and other Republicans announced on Tuesday that they were working on policing reform, presumably as a counter to the package House Democrats offered earlier this week.

"I just finished up a productive lunch discussion on a police reform and retraining package proposal," he tweeted. "My colleagues and I will be releasing more details on the draft in the near future. I am hopeful that this legislation will bring much-needed solutions."

Scott is the only African-American Republican in the U.S. Senate and has encountered backlash for defending President Trump.

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Scott has joined Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and James Lankford, R-Okla., in reintroducing a bill requiring police to collect certain data points on the lead-up to a weapon being discharged in police encounters.

Democrats unveiled sweeping new legislation Monday that, if passed, aims to increase accountability of police officers by banning certain practices and significantly curbing immunity from legal consequences stemming from acts committed in the line of duty.

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“We’re here because black Americans want to stop being killed,” Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., told reporters at a Monday press conference, but noted that “reforming policing is in the best interest of all Americans.”

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 would lower the bar for police officers to face criminal prosecution by allowing charges not just in cases where alleged misconduct was intentional, but also in cases of reckless misconduct. It also seeks to incentivize independent investigations at the state and local level and allow more “pattern and practice” investigations by state attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Fox News' Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.