Following President Donald Trump’s Tuesday morning tweet suggesting that a 75-year-old protestor injured by Buffalo police officers could be an “ANTIFA provocateur” and that the incident was a “set up,” Rep. Tom Reed urged the president to be more empathetic.

“These times call for empathy,” Reed, a Republican whose district includes the Greater Olean area, said during a media call with reporters Tuesday. “The video was obviously very troubling to see that occur.”

Reed said engaging in discussions is the best solution to deescalate and bring calmness and unity amid the growing tensions in the nation.

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A similar approach could revise the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 that was drafted by Democrats and introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday, he said.

Bipartisan efforts, such as policies suggested by the Problem Solvers Caucus, which includes members of Congress from both major political parties, offers a crucial step towards Congressional compromise, he said.

“By pursuing this one-party legislation, I think there is a huge missed opportunity,” Reed, who co-chairs the Problem Solvers Caucus with Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, said. “If I were in charge, I would do what we’re doing in the Problem Solvers Caucus. We’re extending, by way of a statement that we released as a caucus, our show of solidarity to come together right from the get-go, in regards to something that could find common ground and get through the system and signed into law.”

Shedding party titles and working across the aisle provides an opportunity to improve the culture for civil rights across the country and move onward, he said.

Reed noted that bipartisanship efforts led to the development of the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that the president signed into law in 2018.

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