• Sat. May 8th, 2021

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Biden Urges Calm After Police Shooting. Activists Want Answers.

During his campaign, Mr. Biden also pledged to restore the use of consent decrees, a court order negotiated between federal and local officials that the Justice Department for years used to pressure police departments. The Trump administration largely backed away from the practice when Jeff Sessions, President Donald J. Trump’s first attorney general, curtailed their use before his departure in 2018.

Mr. Biden has also tapped a former top civil rights official, Vanita Gupta, as associate attorney general and Kristen Clarke, a former civil rights lawyer, to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division. Those nominations, some said, signaled that the administration would enact more accountability measures. In its discretionary budget request, the administration also proposed $209 million for the civil rights division.

The president also vowed to bolster the Justice Department office that issues grants to police departments with a requirement that it use funds to ensure diversity within police ranks.

“They have carrots, they have funding they can control to try to encourage certain behaviors in police departments, encourage them to seek to find ways of reforming themselves before they have it do it to them by something like a consent decree,” said Kristy Parker, who spent 15 years in the civil rights division of the Justice Department.

With a set of nascent campaign promises, Mr. Biden and his advisers have relied on the continued support of civil rights groups as they urge calm after the shooting of Mr. Wright.

On Wednesday, Mr. Biden will deliver virtual remarks at a convention held by the National Action Network, a civil rights nonprofit founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton. He is not expected to focus on promoting the policing bill.

“We have so much work to do, from criminal justice and police reform, to addressing health disparities and voting rights,” the president will say, according to a copy of his remarks provided to The New York Times.