It has been two years since a police officer tragically killed George Floyd, and yet it seems that little has changed in America. There have been calls for reform, but little action has been taken to improve the situation. It appears that the country has still not learned its lesson. There have been some attempts to reform the police, but they have been unsuccessful.
A bill bearing Floyd’s name aimed at overhauling police practices died in the Senate, and the administration has been slow to act on police reform which is deeply frustrating for those who have been pushing for change. Part of the problem is that there is a lot of misinformation about reform, with police trying to convince elected officials that changes will make them less safe. There is also an increase in crime, which puts pressure on the government to stand by the police. This clearly shows that more needs done to improve the situation. “To every governor, every mayor, every county official, the need is clear, my message is clear: … Spend this money now that you have,” Biden said in a speech from the Rose Garden last week, flanked by police chiefs from across the country. “Use these funds we made available to you to prioritize public safety. Do it quickly, before the summer, when crime rates typically surge. Taking action today is going to save lives tomorrow. So use the money. Hire the police officers.
The Republicans are trying to throw Democrats on the defensive by branding them as a party that stands for defunding the police and tolerating chaos and violence. Some midterm election ads have already sought to sway voters with images of violent protests, burning cities, and brazen crimes.Those political winds, combined with near-universal Republican opposition to Democratic efforts at police reform, have blunted much of the momentum after Floyd’s death. In one stretch earlier this month, Biden’s public appearances focused on a pro-police message on three of four days.
On May 13, he urged communities to use pandemic relief funds to bolster police departments to head off anticipated increases in crime over the summer. Two days later, he spoke at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Then he held a ceremony to award medals of valor to nine police officers and six firefighters in the East Room of the White House.