U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, is calling again for the U.S. Department of Justice to restore federal reviews of police departments to help root out misconduct and make changes. Since the death of George Floyd of Minnesota, adjusting police practices has received greater attention.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri

Blunt says he plans to co-sponsor South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott’s proposed changes to police departments. Scott’s plan would focus on police training and would withhold federal grant money if police departments do not ban the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants, among other things.

During a press conference in Washington, Blunt says the president can step in and make a difference.

“An even more speedy way to respond than the legislative process is the executive branch doing what they can, as soon as they can, to make a difference. Many of you know I think that the Justice Department has real tools to go in and give advice to departments,” says Blunt. “Sometimes asked for, sometimes the Justice Department needs to insist that they be in there giving that advice,” says Blunt. “That’s not the national government taking over police, it’s the Justice Department looking at one department with a systemic problem and deciding they’re going to help solve that problem.”

Blunt and Missouri Democratic Congressmen Lacy Clay and Emanuel Cleaver all say in the past, the federal agency has successfully used the process, including in Ferguson after Michael Brown, Jr. was killed.

Blunt’s office says U.S. Attorney General William Barr has not responded to Blunt’s request to reinstate the reviews.

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