In a bombshell interview receiving scant attention, Joe Biden said that America’s police have “become the enemy”, and should “absolutely” be defunded. The change of heart marks a dramatic about-face for Biden. Just weeks ago, he spoke out against the movement to defund law enforcement agencies.
Biden Flips on Cops
Just three weeks ago, writing in USA Today, Biden opined:
“Don’t defund police, support reforms… I’ve long been a firm believer in the power of community policing — getting cops out of their cruisers and building relationships with the people and the communities they are there to serve and protect. That’s why I’m proposing an additional $300 million to reinvigorate community policing in our country. Every single police department should have the money it needs to institute real reforms like adopting a national use of force standard, buying body cameras and recruiting more diverse police officers.”
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But that was the old Joe, and this is the new old Joe.
In an interview on Wednesday, Biden said that some funding should absolutely be redirected from police, also saying that over-militarized police have “become the enemy” in many communities.
Omar and AOC: Dismantle the System
“Don't defund police, support reforms.” https://t.co/PBg9COygKj
— Pamela Herman (@pshnyc601) June 10, 2020
In a matter of weeks, Biden went from pushing for greater resources for cops to calling them the enemy and joining calls to defund them. Why the sudden change of heart? The vocal young members of the Democratic household may have influenced Uncle Joe.
Before Biden’s about-face, some prominent Democrats indirectly criticized his moderate position on police. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a standard-bearer for the far-left wing of the Republican Party, released this statement calling to divert funds from the NYPD:
“Defunding police means defunding police. It does not mean budget tricks or funny math…It does not mean hiring more police officers while cutting more than $800M from NYC schools. This is not a victory. The fight to defund policing continues.”
Ilhan Omar shares AOC’s objectives. Discussing the Minneapolis Police Department and the broader policing system, calling the “rotten to the root”.
“A new way forward can’t be put in place if we have a department that is having a crisis of credibility, if we have a department that’s led by a chief who’s suited for racism, if we have a department that hasn’t solved half of the homicides. And so, you can’t really form a department that is rotten to the root. What you can do is rebuild,” she also stated.
Trump Team Takes Their Shot
Donald Trump’s political campaign has capitalized on Biden’s move, which is likely to further alienate police unions and individual police officers from his campaign. The campaign has already released blistering political ads, ripping Biden for his inaction in the wake of intense protests and calls to defund police.
Though the ads, released in mid-June, were initially criticized for misrepresenting his position, Biden has now explicitly called to defund police. In a quiet game of tug-o-war between the moderate and radical wings of the Democratic Party, many also saw Biden as a victory for the establishment. As time goes on, however, it seems Biden is sliding ever further to the left.