Police ‘Democracy Survived’ Capitol Riot – Action News Jax
WASHINGTON – (AP) – Framed by the Capitol, President Joe Biden paid tribute on Saturday to fallen law enforcement officers and honored those who fought the January 6 insurgency on the same site by declaring ” because of you, democracy has survived ”.
Biden spoke at the 40th Annual Peace Officers Memorial Service to remember the 491 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2020. Standing where the violent mob tried to reach Blocking his own rise to the presidency, Biden singled out the 150 officers who were injured and the five who died as a result of the attack.
“Nine months ago your brothers and sisters thwarted an unconstitutional and fundamentally anti-American attack on our nation’s values and our votes. Because of you, democracy has survived, ”Biden said. “Thanks to these men and women, we averted disaster, but their heroism came at a price for you and your families. “
Hundreds of officers and their families were seated in chairs gathered on the west facade of the Capitol. Some in the audience dabbed their eyes as the president linked their loss and his own story of grief, including the death of his first wife and two children, comparing it to “the loss of part of his soul”.
Biden also highlighted the heavy burden placed on law enforcement officers and chided the political movement to “fund the police,” saying those who met before him would get “more resources, not less, so you can do your job ”.
“We expect everything from you and it is beyond anyone’s ability to meet any expectations,” Biden said. “Being a cop today is a lot harder than it’s ever been.”
Biden played on his working-class roots, noting that he had many childhood friends who went on to become police officers, and said he had spoken at the event on several occasions before. But while Biden has throughout his political career sought to identify with the uniformed service, the organization that hosted Saturday’s event, the National Fraternal Order of the Police, endorsed Donald Trump in the election. of 2020 and many grassroots police backed the former president. .
Biden’s efforts to pass a police review bill to tighten up practices after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis collapsed, with congressional negotiators announcing in September that talks had ended without a deal. It was a setback for the Democratic president, who campaigned on the need for change in the police force and declared it an early priority.
In addition, his gun violence agenda has largely stalled, and his initial choice to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives has withdrawn in the face of fierce opposition. More recently, Biden has expressed hope that he can still sign a comprehensive police overhaul bill, while exploring more executive action to help hold police officers accountable for breaking the law.
At the ceremony, Biden expressed concern for all officers in the line of duty and mentioned the three assistant police officers who were ambushed early Saturday while working at a Houston bar. A deputy was killed.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.