Cory Booker mum on police reform ‘conversations’ as Congressional Black Caucus meets with Biden to seek a deal

Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey is staying tight-lipped about any efforts on policing reform in light of the killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee, as President Joe Biden meets with the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss the topic.

Mr Booker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had been the lead negotiator for the Democratic side for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in the previous Congress.

But his negotiations with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the only Black Republican senator, ultimately fell through.

“I’m actually not going to discuss it,” he told The Independent, but added that he was having “conversations” about police reform. Mr Booker’s discussions come after the Memphis Police Department released video footage of police officers beating Mr Nichols, who died three days later.

“I don’t want to say (anything) about the momentum shift, but I will say that this is a horrific, yet another horrific act of violence committed by people wearing uniforms and police officers,” he said. “It’s tragic and gruesome and awful.”

Mr Scott, for his part, delivered a speech earlier this week, defending his position and faulting Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin for filibustering his proposed policing reform.

“I never left the table,” Mr Scott said in a floor speech. “We had more resources for more training because we want only the best wearing the badge in every location, in every municipality, in every state in this great nation. But politics too often gets in the way of what every American knows is common sense.”

Vice President Kamala Harris attended Mr Nichols’s funeral on Wednesday. During her speech at Mr Nichols’s funeral, Ms Harris reiterated the need to pass policing reform.

Mr Biden met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including chairman Steven Horsford of Nevada, on Thursday to discuss policing reform as a response to Mr Nichols’s death.