Former Vice President Joe Biden’s White House campaign on Monday said that the presumptive Democrat nominee does not support defunding police, putting him at odds with Black Lives Matter.
“Biden does not believe that police should be defunded. He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain,” the Biden campaign said in a statement.
"Biden does not believe that police should be defunded. He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain. Biden supports the urgent need for reform…" pic.twitter.com/k0IConBSj3
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) June 8, 2020
Prior to the Biden campaign’s statement, President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign blasted the former vice president for failing to reject the “defund the police” movement.
“Defunding the police is exactly what this movement means,” campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told reporters in a conference call. “Joe Biden is complicit in this and he does not have the strength to stand up to the extremists that are now calling the shots in the party and he would contribute to the chaos,”
The Biden campaign’s statement comes as Black Lives Matter and other groups have called for the defunding and abolishment of police in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
On Sunday, a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council announced that it would commit to a “police-free future.”
“We recognize that we don’t have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does,” the city council said in a statement. “We’re committed to engaging with every willing community member in the City of Minneapolis over the next year to identify what safety looks like for you.”
The day prior, Minneapolis protesters booed away Mayor Jacob Frey (D) from a Black Lives Matter demonstration after he refused to commit to defunding its police department.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey showed up today at the protests. He was asked if he would commit to abolishing/defunding the police. Incredible to witness crowd hold him directly accountable. Man did a literal walk of shame. pic.twitter.com/v645mfIZHt
— Sana Saeed (@SanaSaeed) June 6, 2020
Biden’s position also puts him at odds with far-left Democrats, such as “Squad” members Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who joined calls to defund the police last week.
During a congressional primary debate, Ocasio-Cortez said that she is “actively engaged in advocacy” for a “reduction of our NYPD budget and defunding a $6 billion NYPD budget that costs us books in the hands of our children and costs us very badly needed investment in NYCHA [New York City Housing Authority] and public housing.”