Joe Biden issued a proclamation in recognition of National Police Week and Police Officer Memorial Day, May 9-15, 2021. It is an annual statement made by the president. Biden’s statement, though, took a knee to extremists in the Democrat Party. He included a qualifying message to his words of support for law enforcement.
The proclamation began by delivering standard remarks about the dangers faced each day by police and their wide range of duties. He acknowledged those who lost their lives in the line of duty. Then he went into the difficulties that have arisen during the economic demands of the pandemic, with local and state officials having to stretch their budgets and sometimes reduce services.
Every day, we ask a great deal of the men and women of our Nation’s law enforcement agencies; from ensuring public safety, to serving as front-line workers, to responding to incidents involving domestic violence, substance use disorders, mental health challenges, and homelessness, often with limited resources. Every morning, our Nation’s law enforcement officers pin on a badge and go to work, not knowing what the day will bring, and hoping to come home safely. This year, even as the COVID-19 pandemic took a physical, mental, and emotional toll, our officers, deputies, and troopers demonstrated courage and dedication in continuing to support our communities. As we recognize Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, we honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty, and thank them on behalf of this grateful Nation for their service.
The economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has strained State, local, and Tribal budgets — forcing many communities to stretch their funding, consider layoffs, and reduce public services. My Administration will support our Nation’s law enforcement agencies and officers and work to ensure they have the resources and research tools they need to do their jobs successfully and the funding necessary to enhance officer safety and wellness, including improving access to mental health services. We will also continue to bolster initiatives that protect our law enforcement officers’ physical safety — including those that provide for bulletproof vests and active shooter training.
So far, so good. Then, however, in the next paragraph, Biden inserts some rhetoric we’ve heard frequently from Defund the Police activists. He qualifies his words of gratitude to law enforcement officers by saying, you know, many black and brown people don’t trust cops. He points a finger at cops for the distrust – using “the recent deaths of several Black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement.”
This year, we also recognize that in many of our communities, especially Black and brown communities, there is a deep sense of distrust towards law enforcement; a distrust that has been exacerbated by the recent deaths of several Black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement. These deaths have resulted in a profound fear, trauma, pain, and exhaustion for many Black and brown Americans, and the resulting breakdown in trust between law enforcement and the communities they have sworn to protect and serve ultimately makes officers’ jobs harder and more dangerous as well. In order to rebuild that trust, our State, local, and Federal Government and law enforcement agencies must protect constitutional rights, ensure accountability for misconduct, and embrace policing that reflects community values and ensures community safety. These approaches benefit those who wear the badge and those who count on their protection.
We must also stop tasking law enforcement with problems that are far beyond their jurisdictions. From providing emergency health care to resolving school discipline issues, our communities rely on the police to perform services that often should be the duty of other institutions. We then accuse the police of failure when responsibility lies with public policy choices they did not make. Supporting our law enforcement officers requires that we invest in underfunded public systems that provide health care, counseling, housing, education, and other social services.
Why couldn’t Biden simply issue a statement that thanks law enforcement for their work and offer his continued support? Why did he have to qualify his remarks by pointing to something that has happened but is the exception to the rule, not a regular occurrence? The far-left paints cops with a broad brush, as though they are all racists and out to kill people of color. He was too timid to issue a proclamation with full-throated support for the police so he included those two paragraphs to appease the far-left flank of his party.
If Joe Biden truly was a unifier, someone who ran for president to bring the country together as he claimed, he would stop dividing Americans at every opportunity. This was a simple task, a no-brainer, yet he botched it. He provided support for those looking to defund local police departments and use social workers in place of law enforcement. The left frequently uses the example of domestic violence calls when saying social workers are better equipped to de-escalate these situations but that flies in the face of common sense. Cops are called to domestic violence situations because they literally have become violent. You can argue that law enforcement should be trained more extensively in de-escalation techniques but to put social workers in these volatile situations without police backup is a mistake that will quickly turn deadly.
Joe Biden insulted law enforcement with this proclamation. He chose to cave to extremists instead of providing leadership in his message. Biden could have encouraged people to pursue a career in law enforcement, for example, instead of specifically pointing out some bad actors and situations that have gone badly. Those are still the rare exceptions, not the majority of police calls.