GOP Congressman Says The Time For Protests Is Over, Leaders Must Debate Change


TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY (WSKG) – Congressman Tom Reed thinks protests will likely continue, but the time for protests is ending. He made the remarks in answer to a reporter’s question on Tuesday, the day of George Floyd’s funeral. Outrage over Floyd’s killing while in police custody sparked large protests in Minneapolis and other U.S. cities.

“Now the work begins. The protests have happened,” Reed said. “The initial response, rightfully so, occurred when it came to the peaceful protests across the country and now is the time when true leaders will emerge to roll up their sleeves, stay in the room and have the passionate debate. But have it in a lawful, respectful, empathetic, listening fashion.”

FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2017 file photo Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., listens during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Reed opposes the current police reform proposal authored by Congressional Democrats. It would reduce federal funding to police departments. Instead, the Southern Tier Congressman said there should be incentives that reward police departments for making positive changes.

There are parts of the Democratic proposal he supports, like policies that require law enforcement officers to intervene when another law enforcement officer is abusive or endangers a citizen.

Some anti-racism groups in Ithaca have said they will protest every Sunday until reforms are in place that break down systemic racism and stop police abuse.

Reed represents New York’s 23rd Congressional district, which includes Ithaca, Elmira and Hornell