‘This Moment Demands Action’: Biden Eyes Executive Actions After Fruitless Police Reform Talks

© REUTERS / Leah MillisU.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks at Mather Airport, California
U.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks at Mather Airport, California
 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.09.2021
US President Joe Biden says he will review executive actions after bipartisan police reform talks between Democrats and Republicans - sparked by the death of Minnesota man George Floyd - are officially over without a deal.
In a statement released Wednesday on police reform investigations, Biden acknowledged his support for the US House-passed George Floyd Justice Policing Act and his urge to the US Senate to enact “meaningful” federal police reforms that “includes accountability to when law enforcement officers violate their oaths.”
Biden criticized Senate Republicans for rejecting modest reforms that were supported by the previous president in office, noting that lawmakers refused “to take action on key issues that many in law enforcement were willing to address.”
“This moment demands action, and we cannot allow those who stand in the way of progress to prevent us from answering the call.”
The bipartisan negotiating team led by US Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC), could not reach an agreement on the Democratic proposal to reform qualified immunity, which protects police officers from civil liability for misconduct.
“We made it clear from the beginning of our negotiations that a bill must ensure true accountability, transparency and the policing standards necessary to bring an end to horrific incidents of violence Americans are routinely seeing – like the murder of George Floyd,” Booker said in a statement on Wednesday.
“After months of exhausting every possible pathway to a bipartisan deal, it remains out of reach right now.”
Biden has indicated that he still hopes to sign into law a “comprehensive and meaningful change,” with the administration already taking important steps with the US Justice Department in announcing new policies that will be implemented toward police officers.
“The White House will continue to consult with the civil rights and law enforcement communities, as well as victims’ families to define a path forward, including through potential further executive actions,” added Biden, in hopes to advance their efforts to “live up to the American ideal of equal justice under law.”
Negotiations over police reform gained steam among lawmakers after nationwide protests after fired Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in April. Chauvin was seen on cellphone footage kneeling on Floyd’s neck in spite of pleas that the Minnesota man was unable to breathe.
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