Washington, DC – President Joe Biden commemorated National Police Week by blaming law enforcement officers for fueling “distrust” in “black and brown communities.”
President Biden made his comments in his May 7 proclamation regarding Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week 2021.
He began by praising law enforcement for their continued service to their communities, and acknowledged they are often expected to do so “with limited resources.”
“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,” President Biden said. “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 President vowed to ensure law enforcement officers have the resources and tools they need “to do their jobs successfully,” as well as the “funding necessary to enhance officer safety and wellness.”
President Biden then focused his attention on the “deep sense of distrust” he claimed law enforcement has created, especially in “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,” he declared. “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.”
President Biden said law enforcement agencies need to “rebuild that trust” by making sure they do more to “protect constitutional rights, ensure accountability for misconduct, and embrace policing that reflects community values and ensures community safety.”
Adopting such approaches will benefit law enforcement officers as well as “those who count on their protection,” he touted.
President Biden further praised efforts to dump more money into “underfunded public systems” tasked with providing educational, housing, counseling, health care, and other social services in order to alleviate problems associated with having law enforcement handle such issues.
“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,” he said, pushing a key police defunding talking point. “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…”
National Police Week kicked off on Sunday, with Peace Officers Memorial Day taking place on May 15.