Police unions coalition director: Biden ‘off the deep end’ in calls for reform
The executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations said Thursday that former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has gone “off the deep end” in his calls for reform.
Bill Johnson, the executive director of the association that serves as an umbrella organization for Police Benevolent Association chapters, said the former vice president “kept moving left” in his rhetoric on law enforcement.
Johnson’s comments align with other police union officials who say they are disappointed with Biden’s lack of support for law enforcement during the protests over George Floyd’s death, Politico reported.
“Clearly, he’s made a lot of changes the way candidates do during the primary process, but he kept moving left and fell off the deep end,” Johnson said.
“For Joe Biden, police are shaking their heads because he used to be a stand-up guy who backed law enforcement,” he added, according to Politico. “But it seems in his old age, for whatever reason, he’s writing a sad final chapter when it comes to supporting law enforcement.”
Police officers tend to lean right, but the National Association of Police Organizations had endorsed former President Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections because Biden was on the ticket. The former vice president has traditionally been viewed as supportive of union and blue-collar causes.
But several of his once supporters are frustrated with the candidate after his Tuesday speech in which he presented police reforms and highlighted the racial disparities in the country.
On the other hand, President Trump has taken a “law and order” approach to the unrest, including with threats to deploy the military to stop violent demonstrators. The Trump campaign also slammed Biden for not mentioning officers who have been killed and wounded during the riots and demonstrations.
“Biden hasn’t said a single word on one of the most horrific aspects of the bloodshed: attacks by rioters and looters, sometimes fatal, on police officers in the line of duty protecting innocent Americans,” the Trump campaign said in a Wednesday email, according to Politico.
Protests have erupted across the country over police treatment of minorities after Floyd died after being detained by Minneapolis police, with some of the demonstrations turning violent.
Video showed a former officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes, leading the officer, Derek Chauvin, to be charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. He was originally charged with third-degree murder.
The other three officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were charged on Wednesday with aiding and abetting murder.