Joe Biden Walks Back Defunding Police: Departments Should Get Money to Hire ‘Social Workers, Psychologists’

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“I don’t want to defund police,” Biden stated during a virtual fundraising event with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D), a potential vice-presidential pick, according to The Hill. “I want to get police more money in order to deal with the things they badly need, from making sure they have access to community policing, that they have also in the departments social workers, psychologists, people who in fact can handle those god-awful problems that a cop has to have four degrees to handle.”

In the same event, Biden pledged in his first 100 days in the White House to work with criminal justice experts on police reforms.

“Reform means, at least the beginning, banning chokeholds, stopping transferring military weapons of war to the police departments, creating a model use of force standard and holding all police to the high standard,” the presumptive Democrat nominee said.

In June, Biden’s campaign said the candidate opposed the Defund the Police movement and pointed to its proposal for an additional $300 million for community policing, seemingly putting him at odds with Black Lives Matter activists. However, in July, Biden affirmed some funding should “absolutely” be redirected from law enforcement.

As a Breitbart News Fact-Check notes, defunding the police and redirecting funds are virtually the same:

CLAIM: Joe Biden doesn’t want to abolish or defund the police; he just wants to redirect police funding to other uses.

VERDICT: Mostly false. Even many activists say defunding the police and redirecting police funding mean the same thing.

[…]

While Biden has said he does not want to “defund the police,” he has also said, as The Hill notes, that he wants to “re-direct” funding from policing to other priorities, like mental health, which some on the left have argued will be more effective in preventing crime. This is also what some activists have tried to explain “defund the police” actually means. The Brookings Institution, a left-leaning think tank, explained last month: “‘Defund the police’ means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality. That’s it. It’s that simple.”

Biden’s comments come as New York City and Chicago have experienced a surge in crime.

Breitbart News reported:

NYPD’s 19th Precinct, has seen a tremendous uptick in criminal activity over the last month. According to the precinct, they have experienced a “significant uptick in robberies” over the course of the last month, representing a 286 percent increase from 2019.

As of August 3, the precinct reported 14 gunpoint robberies to date. Last year, the area only saw four.

The 19th Precinct revealed that three of those robberies — all separate — occurred within a one-hour period, ending with three arrests

With respect to shootings, it was reported on July 22 that New York saw a 220 percent increase compared to the same week last year. To make matters worse, New York City slashed $1 billion from the NYPD budget at the beginning of July.

On top of New York City and Chicago, July 2020 shootings in riot-plagued Portland, Oregon, are more than double the number witnessed in July 2019, with 28 shootings last year and 63 this year.