Don’t Count on the Feds to Fix Your Local Police Force

NYPD officers during a rally against the death of George Floyd at Times Square in New York City, June 1, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
Reform is going to involve all levels of government.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n the past few days, both President Trump and Senator Tim Scott have put forth plans to reform policing: an executive order for the former, a piece of legislation for the latter. There are some worthy ideas in both documents, but perhaps the biggest takeaway from these efforts is that there’s only so much the federal government can do. Many key discussions need to take place at the state and local levels instead.

There are both constitutional and political reasons for the federal government’s limits. Most policing is done by state and local cops, and the governments in control of these

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