In the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody and the justified protests that followed, many on the left are calling for criminal justice reform and the drastic measure of defunding the police.
President Trump disagrees with the left and Monday declared during a White House roundtable with members of law enforcement: The police are doing a “fantastic” job.
“There won’t be defunding, there won’t be dismantling of our police and there is not going to be any disbanding of our police,” he said at the afternoon event.
“We want to make sure we don’t have any bad actors in there, and sometimes, you’ll see some horrible things like we witnessed recently, but 99 — I say 99.9, but let’s go with 99% of them are great, great people, and they’ve done jobs that are record setting — record setting,” Trump said.
December, 2018, President Trump signed of the First Step Act, which addresses the disparities of federal sentencing guidelines that are especially harsh on repeat black offenders.
It was the Democrats during the Clinton administration that established the “three strike rule” to lock up habitual offenders for life. Many of these suspects were minorities simply guilty of committing survival crimes. Now, the Dems want to defund the police.
How did the Democrats end up here? Part of the problem dates to the 1994 crime bill, which Joe Biden spearheaded, as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and President Bill Clinton signed into law.
The bill was in response to alarming rates of violent crime and to counter Republican accusations that Democrats were soft on the issue.
It included an assault-weapons ban and the Violence Against Women Act, but it also imposed harsh federal sentences and mandatory “three strikes” rules.
Hillary Clinton has been in public service most of her life, but during her 2016 presidential campaign she was blasted for a term she used for criminals in 1996, “superpredators,” saying that “we have to bring them to heel.”
Now, nearly three decades later, Joe Biden faces his own third strike rule as he makes his third run for the White House. Biden must answer for his role in legislation that criminal justice experts and his critics say helped lay the groundwork for the mass incarceration that has devastated America’s black communities.
“It doesn’t matter whether or not they’re the victims of society,” Mr. Biden said in 1993, adding, “I don’t want to ask, ‘What made them do this?’ They must be taken off the street.”
Today’s roundtable comes on the heels of Minneapolis City Council announcing Sunday that it would disband the city’s police force in the wake of Floyd’s death and long-standing issues with police conduct.
The issue of criminal justice reform will loom large over the 2020 election. The question is not whether black voters will vote for Biden or Trump, but whether or not they will be inspired to show up at the polls at all.