president Joe Biden State and local governments have been urged to use the US$350 billion in COVID-19 funding provided by the U.S. rescue program to combat crime by hiring new police officers.
Biden pushed for increased police funding at a press conference held by the White House and the Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday. The President emphasized that the funds already included in the legislation he signed into law on March 11 can be used to help reduce gun violence in the context of the country’s recent surge in violent crime.
“We now provide more guidance on how to [state and local governments] The US$350 billion provided nationwide by the U.S. Rescue Program can be used to help reduce crime and address the root cause,” Biden said. “For example, a city with increased gun violence can use U.S. Rescue Program funds to hire police officers that require community police. And pay for overtime. “
Biden’s call for increased police funding highlights his differences with some radicals Democratic Party After mass protests against police brutality and racial injustice last year, he called for the cancellation of police funding. He said the increase in violent crime means that “now is not the time to turn away from law enforcement or our community.”
The president warned that the surge in violent crime this summer “may be even more pronounced than usual,” and urged local governments to use funds from the US rescue program in community-based crime prevention programs in addition to increasing the number of police. He announced a “major strike” against gun dealers who ignore current laws aimed at reducing gun violence.
“[The American Rescue Plan] It means more police, more nurses, more consultants, more social workers, and more community violence disruptors to help solve problems before they escalate into crimes,” Biden said.
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend of a surge in violent crime in 2020 will continue to escalate under Biden’s leadership. According to statistics, in the first three months of 2021, murders in 37 cities have increased by 18% over the same period last year. New York TimesIn major cities such as New York and Chicago, the increase in murders is particularly disturbing, although the total number of violent crimes across the United States has declined significantly since the 1990s.
Although Biden and most people Democratic Party in Congress joined Republicans In terms of efforts to oppose funding for the police, this idea is still welcomed by some progressives.House of Representatives Alexander Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) and other members of the “squad”, such as the House of Representatives. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) all expressed support for the cancellation of police funding.
Omar said earlier this month: “What we want to say is that the existing infrastructure in our city should no longer exist. We can’t use the same infrastructure to create different processes.”
This issue also played a role in the Democratic primary of the Mayor of New York City on Tuesday. Although the winner of the contest may not be known for some time due to official statistics on the results of the ranking selection vote, the former police officer Eric Adams, who opposed the cancellation of funding, is currently ahead of rival candidate Maya Wiley. Support the cancellation of funding.
Weekly newspaper Contacted the offices of Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley for comments.