The Biden administration has stopped plans to launch a national police oversight commission, instead, focusing on changing policing through legislation, top White House Susan Rice confirmed on Monday.
President Joe Biden had previously stated he would start a new commission to study law enforcement in response to high-profile deaths of Black individuals by police officers. The commitment served as a key promise of his 2020 presidential campaign.
Biden had previously promised “to establish a police oversight commission within the first 100 days of his presidency.”
“Based on close, respectful consultation with partners in civil rights community, the administration made the considered judgment that a police commission, at this time, would not be the most effective way to deliver on our top priority in this area, which is to sign the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act into law,” Director of Domestic Policy Susan Rice told Politico.
Reuters noted the priority focuses on signing a bill that “passed the House of Representatives in March, banning officers from using chokeholds and entering suspects’ homes without knocking, Rice said in response to questions about progress on police reforms.”
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act currently lacks the needed 60 votes necessary to pass in the Senate. Republicans oppose the lack of “qualified immunity” given to law enforcement.
The bill demands that state and federal law enforcement officers are equipped with body cameras and police vehicles equipped with dashboard cameras, restricts the transfer of some decommissioned military equipment to local police departments and demands that state and local law enforcement agencies adopt anti-discrimination training, according to the bill’s text.
The report comes as prosecutors rest their case this week in the trial of officer Derek Chauvin. The Minneapolis officer is accused of killing George Floyd, an event that led to widespread protests and riots in Minneapolis and nationwide.
The Biden administration’s shift marks another case of “moving the goalposts” to change past promises into completely different initiatives to continue moving forward with its radical agenda items.