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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden acknowledged that the work of ending racism and police violence won’t be quick. But it could certainly begin now, even before he has a chance to be elected president by passing existing police reform legislation to prevent any future incidents such as last week’s murder of African American George Floyd by a white officer in Minneapolis, Biden said.
Biden was addressing the anger, frustration and anguish playing out on streets across the United States as protesters have been calling for change in the wake of the killing of the 46-year-old Floyd at the hands of Derek Chauvin and three others who were police officers at the time.
All four were fired subsequent to Floyd’s murder and Chauvin has been charged in the crime.
Protests have sprung up consistently in Minneapolis and across the country since Floyd’s killing.
“The action will not be completed in the first 100 days of my presidency, if I’m fortunate enough to be elected, or even in my entire term. It’s going to take the work of a generation,” Biden said. “But if this agenda will take time to complete, it should not wait for the first 100 days of my presidency to get started. A down payment on what is long overdue should come now, it should come immediately. I call on the Congress to act this month on measures that will be the first step in this direction, starting with real police reform.
“Congressman [Hakeem] Jeffries has a bill to outlaw chokeholds. Congress should put it on the president’s desk in the next few days. There are other measures, to stop transferring weapons of war to police forces, improve oversight and accountability, to create a model use of force standard, that also should be made law this month,” Biden added. “No more excuses, no delays. If [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell can bring in the United States Senate to confirm [Donald] Trump’s unqualified judicial nominees who will run roughshod over our Constitution, now it’s time to pass legislation that will give true meaning to our constitutional promise of equal protection under the law.”
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