Will #DefundthePolice cost Joe Biden the election? As activists increasingly demand federal intervention into local policing to deal with issues of “systemic racism,” Biden’s track record in defending police has come under fire on the Left. In a cycle where Biden needs massive African-American voter turnout to outperform Donald Trump and where he needs to heal the rift with the progressives in the party, Biden’s past support for law enforcement has turned into a potential flashpoint for his campaign.
Biden’s reaction in embracing the activists has not gone unnoticed in law-enforcement circles, reports Marc Caputo and Natasha Korecki for Politico. His realignment with their critics puts their support at risk, most likely in the swing states Biden needs to carry. And his former allies aren’t being kind in pointing that out, either, with one calling out Biden for a lack of fortitude in his dotage:
Joe Biden has long prided himself on being a union-friendly Democrat with a good relationship with rank-and-file cops.
But Biden’s call for more national policing reforms and oversight in the wake of the death of George Floyd — and the perception that he hasn’t shown enough solidarity with law enforcement amid the ensuing nationwide protests and unrest — have created a fissure with law enforcement groups, leaving many who once supported him frustrated by what they regard as political posturing by their one-time ally.
“Clearly, he’s made a lot of changes the way candidates do during the primary process, but he kept moving left and fell off the deep end,” said Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, the umbrella organization for Police Benevolent Association chapters.
“For Joe Biden, police are shaking their heads because he used to be a stand-up guy who backed law enforcement,” Johnson said. “But it seems in his old age, for whatever reason, he’s writing a sad final chapter when it comes to supporting law enforcement.”