State of the Union: Biden says America must ‘stop work on police reform’

WASHINGTON– President Joe Biden said during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address that America must “stop work on police reform.”

“I know that most police officers and their families are good, decent and honorable people. The overwhelming majority. You risk your life every time you put on that shield,” he said in one of the most powerful moments of the night. “But what happened to Tire in Memphis happens too often. We have to do better.”

Watch President Biden’s full 2023 State of the Union address and read the transcript

The awaited comments come almost a month after Tire Nichols, 29, was beaten during a confrontation with Memphis police officers after he fled a traffic stop on Jan. 7. He died three days later. Five officers involved in the beating were fired and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Nichols’ death.

“There are no words to describe the heartbreak or sadness of losing a child. But imagine, imagine if you lost that child to the law,” Biden said while addressing Nichols’ parents. “Imagine having to worry about whether your son or daughter has come home after walking down the street, playing in the park, or just riding in the car.”

“Most of us in here have never had to have that conversation, the conversation that brown and black parents have had to have with their kids,” he continued, noting that he didn’t have to have that conversation with his own kids. “Imagine having to worry like that every day in America.”

He also called for law enforcement to “give the training they need,” as well as increase resources to reduce violent and gun-related crime, community intervention programs and investment in housing, education and job training.

“All of these can help prevent violence in the first place,” said Biden, who added that officers or departments must be held accountable when they “violate public trust.”

Biden said that when he asked RowVaughn Wells how she found the courage to speak up, he said she said, “Your son was a beautiful soul and something good will come of it.”

“Let’s commit to making the words of Tyler [sic] Mama true – something good must come of this. Something good,” he said.

“All of us in this chamber have to rise to this moment,” Biden said. “We cannot turn away. Let’s do what we know in our hearts we must do. Let’s come together to finish the work on police reform. Do something.”

During Nichols’ funeral last week, RowVaughn Wells tearfully called for passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

“We have to do something because there shouldn’t be another child who should suffer like my son [did] and all the other parents here who have lost their children,” said RowVaughn Wells. “We have to get this law through because if we don’t, that blood — the next child that dies — that blood will be on their hands.”

The bill, which would have attempted to deal with racial profiling and the use of deadly force, passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in 2021 but stalled in the Senate over the issue of qualified immunity for officials.

Vice President Kamala Harris, Rev. Al Sharpton and Ben Crump, an attorney for the Nichols family, all urged lawmakers to revive talks on legislation drafted after the 2020 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police .

“We demand that Congress pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act,” Harris said at Nichols’ funeral. “Joe Biden will sign it. We should not hesitate, and we will not be denied. It’s non-negotiable.”

Calls for police reform emerged during Biden’s second State of the Union address.

The families of George Floyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott and Tamir Rice – all of whom were killed by police officers – were invited by the Congressional Black Caucus to attend the address.

Some Democrats also wore black lapel pins with the year 1870 in bold white, which lawmakers said referred to the first known case of a police officer killing an unarmed, free Black person in the United States.

ABC News’ Alexandra Hutzler contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023 ABC News Internet Ventures. State of the Union: Biden says America must ‘stop work on police reform’

Laura Coffey

World Time Todays is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button