President Joe Biden spoke out against defunding the police and instead called for more police, better training and increased accountability during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
“I know what works: Investing in crime prevention and community police officers who’ll walk the beat, who’ll know the neighborhood, and who can restore trust and safety,” the president said Tuesday. “So let’s not abandon our streets. Or choose between safety and equal justice. ”
“We should all agree: The answer is not to Defund the police. The answer is to FUND the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities,” Biden added.
The Biden administration has focused on reducing gun crime as a way to combat the crime surge. Biden has pushed for banning semi-automatic rifles with certain cosmetic features, and he previously touted the Department of Justice’s recently-announced national ghost gun enforcement initiative. (RELATED: Biden’s Strategy For Combating Surge In Crime Focuses Largely On Combating ‘Gun Violence’)
Bided called on Congress “to pass proven measures to reduce gun violence” by passing universal background checks, banning “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines” and repealing “the liability shield that makes gun manufacturers the only industry in America that can’t be sued” during his Tuesday address.
“These laws don’t infringe on the Second Amendment,” the president said. “They save lives.”
While Biden pointed to reducing gun crime during his SOTU speech, he also brought up other efforts his administration is taking to fight crime, including investing in crime prevention and aiding cities and towns in hiring community police officers.
During the portion of his speech focused on crime, Biden issued a call for Congress to pass his request for $200 million more for community violence intervention programs. He called on Congress to approve his $300 million budget request to increase the DOJ’s community policing hiring grant program, too.
“I ask Democrats and Republicans alike: Pass my budget and keep our neighborhoods safe,” Biden said.
The president’s address focused on a number of topics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and increased inflation. His speech, White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted earlier in the week, pivoted amid Russia’s invasion, with this being a big focus of Biden’s SOTU address.