Joe Biden is condemned for ‘bashing the blue’ after blasting cops with Police Week statement

Joe Biden was condemned for issuing a Police Week statement highlighting the ‘deep sense of distrust’ black Americans feel towards cops in the wake of high-profile police custody deaths.

The President of the United States’ statement, issued Saturday, said distrust of the police had been ‘exacerbated’ by high profile police custody deaths.

Biden said: ‘This year, we also recognize that in many of our communities, especially Black and brown communities, there is a deep sense of distrust towards law enforcement; a distrust that has been exacerbated by the recent deaths of several Black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement. 

‘These deaths have resulted in a profound fear, trauma, pain, and exhaustion for many Black and brown Americans, and the resulting breakdown in trust between law enforcement and the communities they have sworn to protect and serve ultimately makes officers’ jobs harder and more dangerous as well.’

The president continued: ‘In order to rebuild that trust, our State, local, and Federal Government and law enforcement agencies must protect constitutional rights, ensure accountability for misconduct, and embrace policing that reflects community values and ensures community safety. 

‘These approaches benefit those who wear the badge and those who count on their protection.’

U.S. President Joe Biden, seen here with his wife Jill going from the White House to Delaware on May 15, 2021, issued a statement on police week that police supporters criticized as a slap in the face

First lady Jill Biden and U.S. President Joe Biden walk on the ellipse to Marine One on May 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. The President and the first lady will spend the weekend Wilmington, Delaware

First lady Jill Biden and U.S. President Joe Biden walk on the ellipse to Marine One on May 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. The President and the first lady will spend the weekend Wilmington, Delaware

Biden's statement - which also paid tribute to police officers - said high profile deaths of suspects had further worsened anti-police sentiment. He's seen here boarding Marine One on the way to Delaware

Biden’s statement – which also paid tribute to police officers – said high profile deaths of suspects had further worsened anti-police sentiment. He’s seen here boarding Marine One on the way to Delaware 

Biden, in the background, was criticized by the right for what they consider is anti-police rhetoric during police week

Biden, in the background, was criticized by the right for what they consider is anti-police rhetoric during police week

President Joe Biden, pictured on May 13, was condemned for issuing a Police Week statement claiming many black and brown Americans felt 'distrustful' of cops

President Joe Biden, pictured on May 13, was condemned for issuing a Police Week statement claiming many black and brown Americans felt ‘distrustful’ of cops 

Texas Representative Ronny Jackson was among those who condemned Biden over his remarks. The Republican – who served as White House physician to both Barack Obama and Donald Trump before taking office – tweeted: ‘We’ve gone from ‘Back the Blue’ to ‘Bash the Blue’ in one administration. 

‘I’m still DISGUSTED that Biden would use his official Police Week statement to suggest that every Cop is a racist. Democrat hatred for our police is outright REPULSIVE.’

Biden’s remarks came after the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund revealed that there were 264 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2020 – the most since 1974. 

Most of those deaths were COVID related, according to the report; the second most was ‘firearm-related.’

‘This week we pause to pay respect to our law enforcement officers, particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their communities,’ Jason Johnson, president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund told Fox News. 

Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson's tweet in response to Biden's police week remarks

Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson’s tweet in response to Biden’s police week remarks

George Floyd's May 2020 murder at the hands of Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, pictured, sparked ongoing protests and debate over police brutality, and defunding law enforcement

George Floyd’s May 2020 murder at the hands of Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, pictured, sparked ongoing protests and debate over police brutality, and defunding law enforcement

George Floyd

The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020 sparked ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, and calls for police departments to be defunded  

Black Lives Matter protests erupted after Floyd was killed last May. Some protests were peaceful; others, like here in NYC, become violent riots

Black Lives Matter protests erupted after Floyd was killed last May. Some protests were peaceful; others, like here in NYC, become violent riots

A police vehicle drives past a burning car on May 30, 2020, in Salt Lake City during a protest after Floyd was killed

A police vehicle drives past a burning car on May 30, 2020, in Salt Lake City during a protest after Floyd was killed

This was a protest on May 30, 2020 in Seattle, where police in full riot gear waited blocked the street from demonstrators

This was a protest on May 30, 2020 in Seattle, where police in full riot gear waited blocked the street from demonstrators

Protesters kneel and raise their arms if front of a row of police officers as they gather peacefully to protest the death of George Floyd at the State Capital building in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on June 1, 2020

Protesters kneel and raise their arms if front of a row of police officers as they gather peacefully to protest the death of George Floyd at the State Capital building in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on June 1, 2020

Police watch as tear gas is deployed during demonstrations in the aftermath of George Floyd's death on May 31, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.

Police watch as tear gas is deployed during demonstrations in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death on May 31, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.

‘It is beyond disappointing to see the president of the United States continue to perpetuate false and hurtful myths about police, rather than uniting as he claimed he would during the campaign.’

Florida Republican Rep. Brian Mast tweeted side-by-side photos of White House statements from May 10 and May 14 that showed flags were originally ordered to be flown at Half Staff to honor fallen police officers. But that changed by Friday. 

‘The American people deserve to know who lobbied the White House for this despicable change,’ Mast tweeted. ‘Whose anti-police pressure did the White House cave to? The far-left Twitter mob is truly running the country.’  

Florida Republican Rep. Brian Mast tweeted somewhere between May 10 and May 14, orders to fly flags at Half Staff to honor fallen police officers changed

Florida Republican Rep. Brian Mast tweeted somewhere between May 10 and May 14, orders to fly flags at Half Staff to honor fallen police officers changed

The president started his Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week remarks thanking law enforcement for the sacrifice and hard work, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. 

‘Every morning, our Nation’s law enforcement officers pin on a badge and go to work, not knowing what the day will bring, and hoping to come home safely,’ Biden said. 

But his tone shifted by the middle of his statement, which focused on changing policing and holding officers accountable for misconduct. 

All levels of government and law enforcement ‘must protect constitutional rights, ensure accountability for misconduct and embrace policing that reflects community values and ensures community safety.’ 

Police officers came under fire in May 2020 after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Department cop Derek Chauvin. 

Since then, other high profile police killings of black Americans – including the March 2020 shooting of Breonna Taylor the 2019 killing of Colorado massage therapist Elijah McClain and the June 2020 shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta – have sparked discussions and protest over interactions between black Americans and cops.

Recent killings – including the shootings of 16 year-old Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio, and father of 10 Andrew Brown in North Carolina – have kept the issue at the top of the political agenda. 

Anti-police brutality campaigners say cops should be ‘defunded’, with cash slashed from their budgets reassigned to community programs like mental health services.

Pro-police advocates say doing so would make many areas less safe, with progressive left-wingers ‘Defund the police’ message blamed for narrowing Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump in last November’s election.  

Since then, Black Lives Matter demonstrations erupted throughout the country. Some were peaceful protests; others were violent riots with looting and vandalism committed by Antifa and other radical left groups.  

In many major cities across the country, protests have largely fizzled, but some places like Portland continue to descend into chaos, with anarchist groups clashing with police as recently as May 1. 

Protests in Times Square confronted police during a protest on May 30, 2020

Protests in Times Square confronted police during a protest on May 30, 2020

Police prepared for violent demonstrations in Minneapolis last May

Police prepared for violent demonstrations in Minneapolis last May

Biden's Police Week statement was seen by conservatives and police supporters as a slap in the face

Biden’s Police Week statement was seen by conservatives and police supporters as a slap in the face

 After Chauvin was found guilty, Biden told the nation that the verdict sends the message that no one is ‘above the law’, as he demanded new action to honor Floyd after a killing he called a ‘stain on the nation’s soul.’

‘No one should be above the law. And today’s verdict sends that message. But it’s not enough. It can’t stop here,’ Biden said at the time. 

Nearly a month later, the president proclaimed May 15, 2021 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 9 through May 15, 2021, as Police Week, typically a time when law enforcement is honored. 

Former presidents Barak Obama and Donald Trump didn’t allude to police controversy in their remarks, but Biden did and used this year’s police week to say the current way of policing needs to change. 

‘We must also stop tasking law enforcement with problems that are far beyond their jurisdictions. From providing emergency health care to resolving school discipline issues, our communities rely on the police to perform services that often should be the duty of other institutions,’ Biden said. 

‘We then accuse the police of failure when responsibility lies with public policy choices they did not make.’ 

Biden said supporting law enforcement is not about thanking a police officer, but investing in ‘underfunded’ public systems that provide health care, counseling, housing, education and social service. 

His remarks were viewed by law enforcement supports and conservative leaders as a slap in the face. 

‘We’ve gone from ‘Back the Blue” to ‘Bash the Blue’ in one administration,’ Republican Texas Congressman Ronny tweeted Friday. ‘I’m still DISGUSTED that Biden would use his official Police Week statement to suggest that every Cop is a racist. Democrat hatred for our police is outright REPULSIVE.’

President Joe Biden’s full Proclamation on Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, 2021 

Every day, we ask a great deal of the men and women of our Nation’s law enforcement agencies; from ensuring public safety, to serving as front-line workers, to responding to incidents involving domestic violence, substance use disorders, mental health challenges, and homelessness, often with limited resources. 

Every morning, our Nation’s law enforcement officers pin on a badge and go to work, not knowing what the day will bring, and hoping to come home safely. 

This year, even as the COVID-19 pandemic took a physical, mental, and emotional toll, our officers, deputies, and troopers demonstrated courage and dedication in continuing to support our communities. 

As we recognize Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week, we honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty, and thank them on behalf of this grateful Nation for their service.

The economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has strained State, local, and Tribal budgets — forcing many communities to stretch their funding, consider layoffs, and reduce public services. 

My Administration will support our Nation’s law enforcement agencies and officers and work to ensure they have the resources and research tools they need to do their jobs successfully and the funding necessary to enhance officer safety and wellness, including improving access to mental health services. 

We will also continue to bolster initiatives that protect our law enforcement officers’ physical safety — including those that provide for bulletproof vests and active shooter training.

This year, we also recognize that in many of our communities, especially Black and brown communities, there is a deep sense of distrust towards law enforcement; a distrust that has been exacerbated by the recent deaths of several Black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement. 

These deaths have resulted in a profound fear, trauma, pain, and exhaustion for many Black and brown Americans, and the resulting breakdown in trust between law enforcement and the communities they have sworn to protect and serve ultimately makes officers’ jobs harder and more dangerous as well. 

In order to rebuild that trust, our State, local, and Federal Government and law enforcement agencies must protect constitutional rights, ensure accountability for misconduct, and embrace policing that reflects community values and ensures community safety. 

These approaches benefit those who wear the badge and those who count on their protection.

We must also stop tasking law enforcement with problems that are far beyond their jurisdictions. 

From providing emergency health care to resolving school discipline issues, our communities rely on the police to perform services that often should be the duty of other institutions. 

We then accuse the police of failure when responsibility lies with public policy choices they did not make. 

Supporting our law enforcement officers requires that we invest in underfunded public systems that provide health care, counseling, housing, education, and other social services.

There are many ways we can demonstrate appreciation for our law enforcement heroes. 

We recognize acts of bravery through the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor and the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery. 

We must also acknowledge the challenge and value of their service through the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 and the Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act of 2019. Should tragedy strike, Public Safety Officers’ benefits must be available for the families of officers who lose their lives or are catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

This country asks much of our Federal, State, Tribal, and local police officers and deputies, and it is our solemn responsibility to ensure that those who protect and serve have the training, resources, and support they need to do their jobs well. 

My Administration will do everything we can to support the men and women who so courageously protect us.

By a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended (76 Stat. 676), and by Public Law 103-322, as amended (36 U.S.C. 136-137), the President has been authorized and requested to designate May 15 of each year as ‘Peace Officers Memorial Day’ and the week in which it falls as ‘Police Week.’

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2021, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 9 through May 15, 2021, as Police Week.

 I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag from their homes and businesses on that day.

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