Biden gets standing ovation from GOP for saying he doesn’t want to defund the police

Plenty of progressives have embraced the term but some Democrats worry it is radioactive.

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 02 March 2022 03:32
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Biden gets standing ovation from GOP for saying he doesn’t want to defund the police

Republicans and conservative Democrats like Sen Joe Manchin of West Virginia gave President Joe Biden a standing ovation during his State of the Union address when he said he opposed defunding the police.

Mr Biden made the remarks when talking about combatting crime. He specifically mentioned the death of two New York City police officers, Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera.

The president said that it was important to address both police reform while finding a way to combating violent crime like the one that killed the two officers.

“I know what works: Investing in crime preventionand community police officers who’ll walk the beat, who’ll know the neighborhood, and who can restore trust and safety,” he said.

As a result, he cited the Justice Department ending no-knock warrants and chokeholds while requiring body cameras for officers.

“We should all agree: The answer is not to Defund the police. The answer is to fund the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities,” he said.

The words elicited a standing ovation from members of both parties, including Mr Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia who has often stymied major parts of Mr Biden’s domestic agenda.

Progressive Democrats and Squad members such as Michigan Rep Rashida Tlaib, who was set to give a progressive response to the State of the Union address, and Rep Cori Bush of Missouri have adopted the line. Ms Bush told Axios recently that she will not stop talking about defunding the police.

But many moderate Democrats worry the slogan, which caught fire in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, cost them seats in swing districts. Mr Biden has never endorsed the concept.

Mr Biden served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee for years and helped write the 1994 crime bill that many police reform activists now blame for mass incarceration for Black people and other people of color.

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