In a way that could further inflame deep divides and complicate the bid to cleanse the nation’s police forces of racial prejudice.
But the former vice president on Monday calmly told Trump he doesn’t support such moves, arguing instead that federal funds for law enforcement should mandate honor and decency in the ranks, after traveling to Houston to offer solace to Floyd’s family ahead of his funeral on Tuesday.
The clashes between Biden and Trump reflect how a recently slumbering presidential campaign has been given new intensity by the remarkable outpouring of empathy for African Americans in diverse national protests. The most direct exchanges between the two White House foes are occurring as congressional Democrats unveiled a new plan to overhaul policy and as Trump searches for a culture war issue to help him cut his now significant polling deficit with Biden.
Trump’s claims take a complicated issue and twist its most explosive element for maximum damage — a campaign technique that is not new but one at which the President excels.
The push for a policing overhauling is hugely complex, involves entrenched political forces and will jar some of the nation’s most sensitive racial and societal fault lines. Reformers argue that money should be redirected from training and arming more and more cops to programs that invest in public housing, health care, community projects and social ailments that make urban areas more livable and less susceptible to crime that can contribute to tensions between police and residents.