President Biden’s relationship with America’s law enforcement community has gone from bad to worse in the nearly nine months that he has occupied the Oval Office, according to veteran police officers.
Rank-and-file cops and unions who broke away from Mr. Biden to endorse former President Trump now say they are “disgusted” with what they see as a lack of support from the White House.
“It’s been worse than I thought, especially with what I know about Biden,” said Paul DiGiacomo, president of the New York City Detectives’ Endowment Association.
“Biden was once a very strong supporter of the police, but he doesn’t appear to be one anymore,” Mr. DiGiacomo continued. “Honestly, I haven’t seen anything I can point to in a positive manner.”
Even officers who backed Mr. Biden in 2020 say that they are frustrated with his performance on law and order issues.
Charles P. Wilson, chairman of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, personally endorsed Mr. Biden because his organization is a nonprofit and cannot back political candidates.
Mr. Wilson acknowledged that the president’s lack of public praise for law enforcement is contributing to low morale at a time when police forces are seeing record resignations and retirements.
“It’s an issue the administration should address. A lot of cops — because there is such a focus reform — think the administration point blank doesn’t care about them,” he said.
Mr. Biden will come face to face with the law enforcement community Saturday when he delivers remarks at the 40th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service outside the U.S. Capitol.
Officers’ complaints go beyond the lack of pro-police rhetoric. They say the administration’s failure to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat the nation’s rising crime rate; Justice Department probes into local police departments and support of police reform measures have further eroded morale.
Paul Beakman, a former officer who is running as a Democratic candidate for alderman in the Upstate New York town of Lockport, said he feels the country is less safe under Mr. Biden.
“I’m disgusted,” he said. “The administration pretends it’s pro-police with this tremendous overemphasis on the Capitol incident in January. While that attack on my brothers and sisters was horrible, they’ve completely turned a blind eye on public safety in this country.”
The criticism is a stinging embarrassment for Mr. Biden who long prided himself on his solid relationship with law enforcement. Mr. Biden was the driving force behind a 1994 crime bill that included grant money to communities to hire 100,000 more officers. It powered law enforcement with new tools and increased penalties for criminals.
In 2009, Mr. Biden donated $26,000 of leftover campaign funds to a memorial for fallen law enforcement in his home state of Delaware.
But the relationship soured last summer with Mr. Biden’s tepid denunciation of rioters and embrace of calls for a major overhaul of policing laws and more oversight of police.
With violent crime on the rise throughout the country and polls showing Mr. Biden’s approval rating underwater.
Just 38% of Americans approve of his response to increased crime, while 48 percent said they disapprove, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released in July.
Republicans argue that the surge in violence in America is fueled by Democrats’ push to defund the police, expose police officers to the threat of lawsuits for their actions on the job and make it easier for accused criminals to get of jail on bail.
Democrats blame lax gun laws and a struggling post-pandemic economy.
Mr. Biden has attempted to pivot on the issue.
In June, he vowed to wage a war on violent crime, announcing tougher penalties for gun violations and urging cities to use federal COVID relief funds to hire more police officers.
Mr. Biden also scuttled his plan to create a national police oversight commission, breaking a campaign promise to establish one within his first 100 days in office.
Perhaps the most stunning change is Mr. Biden’s distancing himself from a bill that implements major overhauls of policing. As a candidate, Mr. Biden championed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, but the bill has stalled in the Senate and lawmakers and Mr. Biden have thrown in the towel.
Coming into office, Mr. Biden promoted the bill dozens of times, but has spoken little on the issue since. In September, Mr. Biden said he still hoped to sign the measure into law, but those changes are dim.
“They had a halfway decent shot at police reform but it didn’t pass muster,” he said.
Source: Washington Times