© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden and first woman Dr. Jill Biden depart after paying their respects to U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, as he lies in honor within the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, U.S., February 2, 2021. Salwan Georges/Poo
By Nandita Bose and Trevor Hunnicutt
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden spoke to a whole lot of uniformed officers at a memorial service on Saturday to honor regulation enforcement officers who misplaced their lives within the line of obligation.
The occasion, which happened in entrance of the Capitol with friends together with FBI Director Christopher Wray, Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and first woman Jill Biden, honored 491 regulation enforcement officers who misplaced their lives at work in 2019 and 2020.
“Being a cop in the present day is one hell of rather a lot tougher than it is ever been,” Biden mentioned within the 22-minute remarks.
“And to the households of the fallen: you have suffered an infinite loss. However perceive, your loss can also be America’s loss … and your ache is America’s ache,” he mentioned in his feedback, which additionally linked his grief over the lack of two of his kids to that of the households on the service.
Biden credited regulation enforcement businesses with upholding the U.S. political system in the course of the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol, referred to as for extra sources to be allotted to regulation enforcement officers, who he mentioned have been presently being requested to do an excessive amount of, and expressed sorrow for the capturing earlier on Saturday of three deputies in Houston, Texas.
The White Home has additionally issued a proclamation ordering flags to be flown at half-staff at public buildings on Saturday.
The Nationwide Peace Officers’ Memorial Service started in 1982 as a small gathering in Washington’s Senate Park of roughly 120 survivors and supporters of regulation enforcement. It has since become a collection of occasions, attracting 1000’s of survivors and officers to the nation’s capital every year.
Biden has been a loyal ally to regulation enforcement, courting again to his days within the Senate when he crafted the 1994 crime invoice with their assist. Earlier this yr, the president visited the Capitol to pay his respects to Brian Sicknick, a police officer who died of a number of strokes after being sprayed with a chemical in the course of the Jan. 6 riot.
Nonetheless, the president’s efforts to go a police reform invoice to tighten practices following the 2020 homicide of George Floyd in Minneapolis failed in September https://www.reuters.com/world/us/republicans-are-refusing-back-police-reforms-trump-supported-white-house-2021-09-22. That marked a setback for the Democratic president, who campaigned on the necessity for policing reforms.
Biden’s agenda on gun reform has additionally largely stalled, with inadequate assist within the Congressional chambers his Democratic social gathering controls by solely slim margins. Biden’s preliminary decide to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms withered beneath opposition; he has but to call one other candidate.
Extra just lately, Biden has expressed hope that he can nonetheless signal a complete police reform invoice into regulation, and indicated in statements on the time that Democrats might need to try this on their very own.
Biden has additionally mentioned he’ll look into additional govt actions https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-wants-keep-working-police-reform-bill-willing-take-executive-action-2021-09-22 he can take to assist maintain law enforcement officials accountable for breaking the regulation.
The Nationwide Fraternal Order of Police, a significant officers’ union which sponsored the occasion, endorsed Biden’s Republican opponent Donald Trump within the 2020 election.
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