Saturday, 18 May 2024


Biden speaks at police memorial in bid to shore up support as unions endorse Trump By Reuters

Biden speaks at police memorial in bid to shore up support as unions endorse Trump By Reuters

By Jarrett Renshaw

(Reuters) – President Joe Biden will address a large gathering of police officers on Wednesday as he tries to prevent rival Donald Trump from capturing high-profile endorsements from their unions in the coming weeks.

The speech at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, an annual event at the U.S. Capitol honoring slain officers across the country, offers Biden an opportunity to speak directly to law enforcement as he competes against Trump in the Nov. 5 presidential election.

Some Biden campaign officials privately say that Democrats are losing support among rank-and-file police officers who view the Democratic Party as soft on crime and biased against police when their on-the-job actions come under public scrutiny.

Trump has already won endorsements from statewide police unions in Michigan and Florida. The National Fraternal Order of Police and the New York City police union, which both supported Trump in 2020, have yet to announce their endorsements. The FOP’s foundation sponsors Wednesday’s memorial service.

In their case to law enforcement, Biden strategists highlight Trump’s public support of the violent Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, part of an effort to reverse his 2020 election defeat, as well as declining crime rates under Biden and the president’s union ties.

Some 140 police officers were injured when thousands of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol. One Capitol Police officer died the next day. Four others later died by suicide.

“Donald Trump pretends he cares about violence against police officers, but apparently not the ones who lost their lives after being violently assaulted by his supporters,” said Biden campaign spokesperson T.J. Ducklo in a statement.

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Biden has tried to occupy the center on law enforcement issues. He rejected calls by some liberals to “defund the police,” and instead called on local governments to use federal money to hire more officers from the communities they police.

Biden pledged to enact laws to hold officers to a higher standard after high-profile killings of unarmed Black people, including the 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, but those efforts have stalled amid gridlock in Congress.

Allies have warned Biden’s campaign that it must convince voters he is tough on crime. Recent FBI data showed significant drops last year in almost every crime category, including…

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