Biden Supports Black Lives Matter, But Doesn’t Want To Defund The Police

( Count presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as being against the movements to defund police departments.

Andrew Bates, Biden’s campaign spokesman, said that the candidate “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.”

However, he is also not in favor of fully defunding police departments. Bates said:

“As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded.”

In the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a rallying cry of many protests around the country has become “defund the police.” The thought is that many police departments are beyond repair in certain situations, so the only way to fix the problem is to take away money and completely re-think policing.

The City Council in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, already voted to dismantle the police department in the city. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has also announced he will remove about $1.5 million in funding from the LAPD and re-direct it to community programs that support the black community and other communities of color.

As Garcetti is a close ally of Biden’s many had wondered whether Biden held the same beliefs. President Donald Trump, for his part, went on the attack, saying Biden “does not have the strength to stand up to extremists” who stand on the left.

On Monday morning, Trump tweeted:

“LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy!”

Before Biden’s campaign released the statement saying he didn’t support the “defund the police” movement, Trump’s campaign communication director, Tim Murtaugh, pointed to Black Lives Matter protesters who wrote “Defund the police” in front of Lafayette Square on 16th Street in Washington, D.C. He asked:

“The question is, ‘Where has Joe Biden been?’ We’re now days into this movement in the Democratic Party, and Joe Biden has managed only a feeble ‘No comment.'”

Biden has consistently backed the Black Lives Matter protesters, saying he supports the “urgent need for reform.” At the same time, though, he wants to make clear that he’s not in the same camp as liberals who want the more radical approach of defunding police departments to arrive at that solution.

Part of his plan, as he’s said is to work on funding for summer programs, mental health, substance abuse treatment and public schools that is “separate from funding for policing.” This would make it so that officers “can focus on the job of policing.”

In terms of spending on community programs, Biden said he supports funding some that would improve the relationship between police officers and residents, and hiring a more diverse police force “to resemble the communities in which they serve.”

As Bates said:

“There are many police departments across the country who are seeking to realize these kinds of changes, but haven’t had the resources to — and the Trump administration has, in fact, made obtaining those resources more difficult. This is at the core of Joe Biden’s plan to bring transformative change to our criminal justice system.”