President Joe Biden is expected to use Black History Month as a time to rally black Americans to his side by taking action against the police, according to a new report.
A report by CNBC, which relies upon a variety of unnamed sources, says Biden is likely to roll out pieces of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that he can put into the format of executive orders.
Despite efforts by Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina to advance a police reform bill, Congress did not pass any changes. The Justice Department later put in place restrictions on chokeholds and “no-knock” warrants.
Biden, having failed to deliver voting rights legislation Democrats wanted and with his Build Back Better program stalled, is looking at so-called police reform amid sagging poll numbers.
Black voters, a key Democratic constituency and a major source of Biden’s 2020 support, have cooled in their support of Biden. A Quinnipiac poll released last week showed that black voters gave Biden a 57 percent approval rating, which CNBC noted was down from 78 percent in April.
To address that, CNBC reported, Biden is likely to time his executive orders to the beginning of Black History Month, which is celebrated in February.
But issuing orders might be more symbolic than substantive, noted Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, whose state has pushed back in court against other Biden initiatives, such as the president’s ill-fated vaccine mandate.
Democrat policies to defund and dismantle law enforcement have led to chaos and increased crime.
If Biden issues an executive order that hamstrings law enforcement & endangers our communities Texas will destroy it in Court just like the vaccine mandate. https://t.co/0xFZZ2bULh
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 15, 2022
“Democrat policies to defund and dismantle law enforcement have led to chaos and increased crime. If Biden issues an executive order that hamstrings law enforcement & endangers our communities Texas will destroy it in Court just like the vaccine mandate,” he tweeted.
The idea that Biden might play the race card against police drew a harsh response from Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith, spokeswoman for the National Police Association.
“Right now, we need President Biden’s leadership, not his partisan pandering, if we are going to save the lives of both American law enforcement officers and the communities we are trying to protect,” Smith said, according to Fox News.
Smith said Biden is playing political games with the lives of police officers.
“After the worst week politically in his presidential career, it appears that Joe Biden plans to pivot to ‘police reform’ to prop up his faltering reputation and revive his popularity with ‘anti-police’ activists,” she said.
“The priority of the White House should be to protect ALL communities, instead of pandering to a militant wing of idealists and activists who believe that police officers are the problem, not the solution, to violent crime. The National Police Association encourages the President and his staff to make decisions utilizing the facts about crime in American, as well as about police use of force, and stop engaging in false rhetoric designed to vilify our profession,” she continued.
National Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director and CEO Jonathan Thompson said it would be nice if Biden consulted professionals before signing orders.
“We have not yet seen any drafts of the Executive Order nor have been asked for feedback. We are, however, hopeful that the Administration will take into account its dialogue with Sheriffs and the law enforcement perspective on moving forward with reform,” Thompson said.
“When it comes to ‘reform’ we need to think about improving training, enhancing enforcement with compassion and sentencing with purpose. Crime is rising. Recruiting and staffing are at historic lows yet the country overwhelmingly supports law enforcement and the adherence to the rule of law.”