Biden launches ad on police violence against Black Americans

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Republican calls second bout of COVID-19 'far more challenging' Conflicting school mask guidance sparks confusion Biden: Pathway to citizenship in reconciliation package 'remains to be seen' MORE rolled out a new ad Thursday that focuses on one the most polarizing issues this election cycle: Police brutality and systemic racism within the criminal justice system.

Starting Thursday, the ad will air digitally in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all key battleground states — as well as on top cable TV networks beginning over the weekend.

Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, the issues — along with a resurgent Black Lives Matter movement — have been brought to national spotlight this summer, catalyzed by the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis at the end of May.


The ad begins with the former vice president raising a question: "Why in this nation do Black Americans wake up knowing they could lose their life in the course of just living their life?"

"Part of the point of freedom is to be free from brutality, from injustice, from racism and all of its manifestations," Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisWill Pence primary Trump — and win? Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law 'CON laws' limit the health care competition Biden aims to deliver MORE (D-Calif.), Biden's running mate, says.

The 60-second ad highlights some of the ticket's policy proposals, including the slashing of qualified immunity, which shields police officers from civil lawsuits, in an attempt to hold them accountable for misconduct.

"Reforming policing in this country means creating a national standard on use of force, and conditioning federal funds for police departments on adoption of that standard," Harris says halfway through the ad.

Biden's and Harris's records on criminal justice are a sore spot for many progressive Democrats, while President TrumpDonald TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel MORE and his allies have tried to paint the pair as part of the "radical left" that wants to defund the police.

In reality, one of Biden's main policy proposals would see $300 million get invested in community policing around the country.

Also on Thursday, Biden is expected to meet with the father of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was critically injured after Kenosha police shot him seven times in front of three of his children late last month.