At odds over police reform bill, Sinema and McSally say more bipartisan cooperation needed

By Cleo Krejci /Arizona Republic

Arizona’s senators cast opposite votes Wednesday on the Republican version of a police reform bill as both suggested the lack of bipartisan cooperation on the debate over policing is making it harder to implement changes to address racism.

Sens. Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema/ Jack Gruber/USA TODAY

Related: Tucson police chief says he’s willing to resign over handling of man’s death while in custody.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. voted to block the GOP-led bill Wednesday while Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., voted to let it proceed to debate. Ultimately, it was stopped on a 55-to-45 vote, failing to clear a 60-vote procedural hurdle and signaling that national police reform measures in response to George Floyd’s death will require more negotiations to move forward.

The Republican bill proposed reforms to policing, including strengthened de-escalation tactics and “duty to intervene” training. Among other measures, it also called for increased transparency and data collection on police use of force, updated hiring practices for police units, and increasing body camera usage. It also would have cut off federal funding to police departments that continue to use chokeholds.

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