On Wednesday, Joe Biden is prepared to sign several executive orders aimed at further punishing American police departments for alleged “systemic racism” and “brutality.”
The New York Post reports that the executive orders, meant to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the accidental fentanyl overdose death of George Floyd, will create a national registry of police officers who have been fired for misconduct, as well as further pressuring local governments to ban aggressive police tactics such as chokeholds and no-knock warrants. Another order will reduce the transfer of surplus military equipment to police departments.
Additionally, Biden will order all federal agencies to review their own use-of-force policies.
The measures to be enacted by Biden draw upon various ideas thrown around during the debate on “reforming” the American police system. Following Floyd’s accidental death while in police custody in Minneapolis, Democrats overwhelmingly began claiming, falsely, that American police are fundamentally racist towards black people, with the party soon adopting the mantra of “defund the police.” Republicans mostly pushed back with efforts to return greater autonomy to local authorities rather than implement a top-down approach.
As such, Biden’s new “registry” comes from one of the Democrat-proposed bills in Congress, while the measure on pressuring local authorities to lift certain practices comes from a Republican proposal. Furthermore, the restriction on transferring military-grade equipment to police forces echoes a similar move made by Barack Obama in 2015.
Biden’s orders come amidst a massive spike in violent crime all across the country, plaguing the largest cities in particular. Many officers have quit the force in record numbers since 2020, with those numbers not improving even two years later; the result has seen many police departments in major cities significantly understaffed and under-equipped to deal with ongoing riots, looting, crime sprees, and other acts of violence in recent years.
Members of law enforcement anonymously voiced their criticisms of Biden’s new orders to the Post, with one New York City officer calling them “beyond a slap in the face.”
“It just goes to show you how far left Biden’s gone now. Law enforcement is a tough job and they’re making it a thousand times harder,” the officer continued. “This job is hard as hell and it’s even harder with everyone recording. Now you’ll saying if I’m fighting with somebody and put a little pressure on his back he could die and I’m going to jail? Let him go. Why would I want to arrest him?”
Biden’s executive orders also appear to contradict his own rhetoric just several months earlier. After initially campaigning on the “defund the police” rhetoric of 2020, Biden declared in his 2022 State of the Union address that the answer is not to defund the police, but “to fund them.” This statement drew criticism from the far-left domestic terrorist group Black Lives Matter, as well as several Democratic members of Congress.