Biden Says Some Funding Should Be Redirected From Police Departments
2020 ElectionJack Phillips

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden said Wednesday that some funding should be redirected from police departments as some activists and Democrats have called to “defund the police” in the wake of protests and riots across the United States in recent weeks.

Biden, 77, was asked by an activist about whether some police funding needs to be redirected.

“But do we agree that we can redirect some of the [police] funding?” Ady Barkan, the activist, asked Biden.

“Yes, absolutely,” Biden responded in a video published by NowThis. “One of the things that we also need to be doing is fundamentally changing way we deal with our prison system,” the former senator from Delaware added. “It should be a rehabilitation system, not a punishment system. We’re going to make sure you’re qualified for every single right you had before you went to prison if you served your time.”

Going further, Biden said police departments do not need surplus military equipment, claiming that it leads them to “become the enemy” in a community.

Specifically, he also called for the ending of no-knock warrants and improving transparency in departments.

“This whole idea of no-knock warrants in drug cases is bizarre, it just invites trouble,” Biden said. “There’s a fundamental need for transparency and access to police records when they have misconduct charges against them.

Following calls to abolish or defund the police last month, Biden’s campaign and other top Democrats in Congress said departments shouldn’t be defunded. Numerous Black Lives Matter activists have chanted the slogan or spray-painted it on buildings and monuments in cities across the country.

NTD Photo
People paint the exterior of the Seattle Police Department’s abandoned East Precinct in Seattle, Wash., on June 19, 2020. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

“As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded,” Biden campaign Rapid Response Director Andrew Bates said several weeks ago. “He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain.”

He said that Biden supports the “urgent need for reform,” including more redirecting policing funds to public schools, mental health and drug abuse treatment programs, and summer programs.

Trump 2020 campaign rapid response director Andrew Clark wrote—following Biden’s comments in the video on Wednesday—that it appears as if “Biden has changed his position on defunding the police.”

A staffer for Biden’s campaign, Andrew Bates, appeared to deny that the candidate has changed his position. “Biden is running on *more* COPS funding for community policing,” he wrote.

“I’d like to thank Donald Trump – for hiring an illiterate comms staff. Biden is running on *more* COPS funding for community policing,” Bates, Biden’s director of rapid response, shot back. “The same sentiment you’re taking out of context RE: local budgets is *in* the articles about him opposing defunding.”

Last month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that encourages police departments to improve training, more certification and credential requirements for officers, information sharing on officials who have been subject to excessive use of force complaints, and co-responder programs that will send health professionals alongside officers in certain situations.

“I strongly oppose” the “radical” effort to dismantle and disband police forces, Trump said at the time, while noting that crime levels are at historic lows across the United States.

From The Epoch Times