Joe Biden will order national policing commission in wake of George Floyd’s death, restrict cops’ access to military equipment and sign order on housing equality as he stakes out agenda on race today
- President Joe Biden is set to sign executive orders Tuesday afternoon that deal with ‘equity’
- He’s expected to sign one that creates a national policing commission to prevent deaths like that of George Floyd
- CNN reported that Biden’s order also targets police departments use of military-grade equipment
- At the Tuesday briefing, Susan Rice, the director of the United States Domestic Policy Council, outlined additional moves Biden would make
President Joe Biden is set to sign executive orders Tuesday afternoon that deal with ‘equity,’ including one that creates a national policing commission to prevent deaths like that of George Floyd.
CNN reported that Biden’s order also target police departments use of military-grade equipment.
Beyond police reform, the executive orders will focus on prison reform and public housing.
Susan Rice, the director of the United States Domestic Policy Council, explained at Tuesday’s press briefing that Biden will instruct the Department of Justice not to renew any contracts with private prisons.
She also said Biden will sign a memorandum directing the Department of Housing and Urban Development to mitigate racial bias in housing.
Biden will also reaffirm the federal government’s commitment to tribal sovereignty.
And he’ll also sign a memorandum condemning xenophobia against Asian Americans, which has been on the rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic – in effect taking aim at Donald Trump’s use of the term ‘China virus.’
President Joe Biden will sign a series of executive orders and memos on Tuesday that will deal with ‘equity’
One of the orders Biden is expected to sign will create a federal policing commission that will work to prevent deaths like George Floyd’s. Floyd, a 46-year-old black Minneapolis man, was killed on May 25, 2020 by a white police officer during an arrest
Rice also said that Biden will discuss the efforts to enfranchise ex-prisoners.
But a policing commission is likely to be the most controversial and divisive move.
Biden had promised on the campaign trail to hold one, in part as the left demanded ‘defund the police.’
The issue of military equipment going to police is also the subject of major partisan divide.
It was curtailed under Obama, but restarted by Trump, who accused his predecessor of tying police hands.
But Rice pivoted to talking about economic opportunity at the briefing.
‘Today the average black family has just one-tenth the wealth as the average white family,’ Rice said in her opening remarks at the briefing.
‘These aren’t feel good policies, the evidence is clear, investing in equity is good for economic growth and it creates jobs for all Americans,’ Rice continued.
Rice cited a figure that $16 trillion has been lost over a 20-year period because of discrimination.
By closing racial gaps in income and opportunity, $5 trillion could be added to the U.S. economy over the next five years.
Trump used the Memorial Day death of Floyd, a black Minneapolis man, who was killed by a white police officer, as a political wedge issue in the lead-up to the election.
Trump embraced a ‘law and order’ candidacy and etched out policy positions such as statues and military bases named after Confederate generals should remain. .
CNN reported that one of the executive actions Biden will take is to prevent local police departments from getting military-grade equipment
Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice outlined some of the executive orders and memos Biden would sign later Tuesday during the press briefing
HOW COPS GET MILITARY GEAR
Military equipment given to police by the Department of Defense tripled in 2019.
Data from the Department of Defense (DoD) lists more than $210 million of gear including armored vehicles, rifles and smoke grenade launchers sent to police forces last year – three times the $71 million worth of equipment obtained by cops from the department in 2018.
The data also shows a huge spike in the number of items obtained by police from the military, from 25,950 in 2018 to 182,005 last year, which is seven times higher.
And figures for just the first quarter of 2020 already show $60 million of military equipment.
Studies show police militarization leads to more killings by cops, and researchers say the true numbers of military items going to police departments could be much higher, as other army gear purchases by police are not tracked by the federal government.
Among the data, obtained by DailyMail.com from the Defense Logistics Agency, are records of police nationwide receiving 54,014 5.56 mm rifles and 12,235 larger 7.62 mm rifles, 1,216 riot-type shotguns and 34 mine-resistant vehicles.
The DoD data lists 82 ‘combat/assault/tactical wheeled vehicles’, 1,238 night vision sniper scopes, 466 laser range finders, 2,167 tasers and 22 ‘demolition firing devices’ given to police.
Among the military gear are also innocuous items such as gloves, binoculars and filing cabinets.
Military equipment is distributed to police forces under a Pentagon scheme called the 1033 Program.
The scheme was created in the 1990s to put surplus military equipment leftover from the end of the Cold War to use in the police crackdown on drug crime.
However, the scheme has since expanded and the most recent figures show more than a third of the equipment sent to police departments is brand new, creating a backdoor expansion of law enforcement budgets using DoD cash.
The program was curtailed in 2015 by Barack Obama after an outcry over police killings of black people, but was reinstated by Donald Trump in 2017.