Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill are quickly shutting down calls to defund police departments as the party grapples with how to respond to demands for reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
The idea is splintering black activists and some prominent progressive lawmakers from Biden and top congressional Democrats while providing fodder for national Republicans, who are quickly mobilizing to use it as the latest example of Democrats moving to the left in the lead up to November.
A spokesman for Biden’s campaign said Monday that the former vice president “hears and shares the deep grief and frustration” of those calling for reform, but that he “does not believe that police should be defunded.”
Later, Biden made his position clear in an interview with CBS.
“No, I don’t support defunding the police. I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness,” he said.
Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill were adopting a similar position.
Nope, too late. Toothpaste is out of the tube and it’s their mess to own.
I just heard that BLM is organizing several marches against Joe Biden, due to his failure to support defunding of law enforcement. I support this.
— Laura L. Wilson (@ellewilson) June 8, 2020