Biden credits police officers for nation’s declining crime rate - TAI News
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President Joe Biden, left, walks off of the stage with National Fraternal Order of Police President Patrick Yoes, during a memorial service to honor law enforcement officers who’ve lost their lives in the past year, during National Police Week ceremonies at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden credited police officers for the nation’s declining crime rate at a ceremony honoring fallen law enforcement members on May 15.

Biden spoke at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, held in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

“It’s no accident that violent crime is near a record 50-year low – a 50-year low. It’s because of extraordinary efforts by all of you in your communities, together with historic steps taken to support you – to stop the flow of illegal guns, to hold gun traffickers accountable for crimes. It matters, and it matters a lot,” Biden said.

According to data released by the FBI in March, violent crime decreased 6% in 2023 from the year before, with murder down 13% and property crime showing a decrease of 4%. It was the second year in a row that the overall crime rate has gone down.

In 2021, a few months after he was sworn into office, Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, which provided funds for local police departments to hire new officers, purchase equipment, and pay for other crime prevention efforts. The legislation did not receive any yea votes from Republicans.

Then, in June 2022, Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which enhanced federal background checks for gun purchases, introduced new penalties for trafficking guns, and increased funding for red flag laws and crisis intervention programs at the state level.

In January, the Department of Justice said that provisions of the new law have prevented 1,900 firearms from being obtained by dangerous persons and those prohibited from owning guns.

While the Biden administration has implemented efforts to bolster law enforcement by supporting public safety initiatives, Republicans have leveled attacks against the justice system.

In the course of his trial for alleged criminal offenses in New York, former President Donald Trump has leveled repeated attacks on judges and prosecutors, describing his legal ordeals as a witch hunt.

Trump’s attacks on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis, both of whom are Black, accusing them of racism, have led to death threats against them made by Trump supporters.

The sentiment expressed by Trump has been shared by other Republican leaders, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, who appeared at the courthouse to defend Trump on May 14. Johnson described the case against Trump as a sham and said the court system was corrupt.

Trump has promised to “free” people who were convicted and jailed on charges connected with their participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, an attempt to overturn Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election.

Legislatively, House Republicans on the conservative Republican Study Committee have proposed a budget that would defund the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The office is used to guide greater cooperation between law enforcement departments and local communities.

In the House, 179 of the 218 Republicans in office are members of the Republican Study Committee. Michigan Reps. Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John James, Lisa McClain, John Moolenaar and Tim Walberg are members.

Responding to the committee’s budget proposal, the White House said in a March statement that it was “a dangerous plan that would defund law enforcement.”

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