WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Wednesday it was putting the finishing touches on proposals to reform the police following George Floyd’s killing while in police custody, but warned that reducing immunity for officers was a non-starter.
Speaking at a White House briefing, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said administration plans to address protester concerns about police brutality were reaching “final edits,” adding she hoped the proposals could be made public in the “coming days.”
“The president has spent the last 10 days quietly and diligently working on proposals to address the issues that the protesters raised across the country, legitimate issues,” McEnany said.
But she ruled out presidential support for efforts to reduce police immunity, which she said “would result in police pulling back.”
A Democratic bill unveiled on Monday included limits to those protections to make it easier for individuals to collect damages against officers in lawsuits.
A Reuters investigation published last month revealed how qualified immunity, refined over the years by the U.S. Supreme Court, has made it easier for police officers to kill or injure civilians with impunity.
President Donald Trump has drawn fire for calling on state governors to crack down on the thousands across the country protesting Floyd’s death and threatening to send in the U.S. military even as he described himself as an ally to peaceful protesters.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)