WASHINGTON (AP) — When Vice President Kamala Harris was called to the pulpit at Tyre Nichols’ funeralshe said the White House would settle for ambitious federal legislation to crack down on police brutality.
“We shouldn’t delay. And we won’t be denied,” Harris applauded in Memphis, Tennessee. “That’s non-negotiable.”
But back in Washington, progress looks difficult, if not unlikely.Bipartisan efforts to reach agreement on police legislation stalled more than a year agoand President Joe Biden ended up signing an executive order instead George Floyd’s name is the murder at the hands of Minneapolis police that sparked nationwide protests nearly three years ago.
Now, with a new slaughter In the headlines, Biden and Harris will meet with members of Congress’ black caucus on Thursday to explore whether it’s possible to get the bill off the ground.
Rep. Stephen Horsford (D-Nevada), chairman of the caucuses, said:
Representatives attending the White House meeting with Horsford are Senators Raphael Warnock and Cory Booker (two of three black senators), along with Rep. Congressman Cliburn, Congressman Joe Negse. Horsford remained silent on the subject posed to Biden, only saying that he was long past any “real” conversation about policing in America.
The White House faces renewed pressure to move the issue forward, and even some political allies are frustrated by Mr. Biden’s excessive vigilance.
“I think the president is missing an opportunity to be a historic president on social issues that continue to plague our country,” said DY MP Jamal Bowman. “That’s what we need.”
Bowman described Biden as “in many ways an advocate for the status quo” and said Biden should be “an advocate for a new vision of America.”
The solution, Borman said, is not to “offer thoughts and prayers to the State of the Union after your child has been killed,” referring to Nichols’ mother and stepfather being invited to speak next week. is not.
White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Wednesday, “We understand there is a lot more to be done.” She accused the Republican Party of impeding progress in Congress.
“The way to deal with this problem is to enact federal legislation,” said Jean-Pierre. “That’s how we move forward.”
Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, got in touch with the White House last Friday, when the video of Nichols’ beating was released, to discuss whether the situation could be the catalyst to “get things moving again.” bottom.
His organization, the largest police union in the United States, has participated in previous attempts to reach a bipartisan agreement, and Pasco said, “We welcome constructive efforts to improve our work. Union president Patrick Yaws condemned Nichols’ murder, saying “the whole nation needs to do justice quickly and reliably.”
But Pasco said, “We’re kind of in a wait-and-see mode right now,” as legislative progress has become much more difficult since Republicans recently regained control of the House.
“We have to look at the political reality here,” he said.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday indicated he was open to discussing the issue.
A California Republican told reporters on Thursday, “I’ve had several conversations with Tim Scott, who has actually been in the lead in many of these cases.” increase.”
Scott, the only black Republican senator, said it would be “bad” to reinstate earlier Democratic bills. He pleaded with Democrats to put aside “tribalism” in order to come to an agreement on police changes.
“I’ve been working towards a common solution that actually works,” says Scott. “Solutions to increase funding and training to ensure only the best talent can wear the badge.”
This issue includes political issues that are important to the White House. Mr. Biden has carefully balanced his approach, embracing calls to rethink the way police work, while emphasizing his longtime support for law enforcement and rejecting proposals to cut funding. He was elected with strong support from black voters and is preparing a re-election campaign that may begin in the near future.
A former prosecutor and the first person of color to serve as Vice President, Harris has come under particular scrutiny for her approach to police matters. While attending her funeral on Wednesday, she condemned Nichols’ death, stating that “this act of violence was not in pursuit of public safety.”
In a short speech, Harris said, “When you talk about public safety, let’s understand what it really means. ‘Tyre Nichols should have been safe.'”
National Urban League president Mark Morial said he was encouraged by Harris’ attendance at the funeral.
“People expect you to be there when they need you,” he said.
Now, Morial said, “We need a substantive response, not a political response that says, ‘Let’s let something pass.’
last year’s presidential decree It is the product of negotiations between civil rights leaders and law enforcement, focused primarily on federal agencies, and calling for a review and revision of policies on the use of force.
The administration also encourages local departments to join databases to track police misconduct.
But deeper fixes, such as making it easier to sue cops for misconduct allegations, remain elusive.
Rashad Robinson, president of the activist group Color of Change, said: “We have failed to deliver the necessary structural change in policing.”
Robinson said he was encouraged by the speedy arrest The Memphis police officer who beat Nichols. But he said that shouldn’t be the end of the matter.
“Are those in power willing to do anything to prevent that from happening again?” he said. “Or do they want only individuals to be punished?”