President Joe Biden has backtracked on a campaign pledge to establish a police oversight commission as Black Lives Matter riots erupted Sunday in Minnesota following a police shooting.
Director of the Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice announced the decision to Politico:
Based on close, respectful consultation with partners in the civil rights community, the administration made the considered judgment that a police commission, at this time, would not be the most effective way to deliver on our top priority in this area, which is to sign the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act into law.
Rice also said the White House is working on alternative measures with Congress to address police reform by “working with Congress to swiftly enact meaningful police reform that brings profound, urgently needed change.”
However, Senate Democrats filibustered police reform legislation presented by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) in 2020, “blocking an effort at bipartisan reforms in the wake of nationwide unrest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month,” Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollak reported.
In response to the Senate’s gridlock, Biden said in Philadelphia during his campaign, “the federal government should give the cities and states the tools and resources they need to implement reforms,” such as establishing a police oversight commission.
But such a commission was opposed by Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and a Black Lives Matter sympathizer. He told Politico, “We also agree with the White House decision to forgo the creation of a commission to study the problem.” Adding, “Congress is by far the more appropriate venue to consider changes in law regarding police accountability.”
Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, also told Politico the past commissions “resulted in no policy change.”
“Without full authority to hold police officers and agencies accountable” any commission “is more window dressing unless the purpose of the commission was to build the public support for passage of the George Floyd act in the Senate,” Johnson concluded.
Biden’s broken campaign promise comes as Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) mobilized the National Guard Sunday after nearly 500 rioters vandalized the Brooklyn Center Police Department after the death of Daunte Wright, a black man with an outstanding warrant who was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop. Wright’s death triggered the rioters to vandalize the police station before proceeding to loot local businesses.
“I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center. Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement,” Walz wrote on Twitter.