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Democrats Strategy Shift: After ‘Defund the Police,’ Biden Seeks Resources for Law Enforcement

Cambio de estrategia demócrata: tras pedir desfinanciar la Policía, Biden busca recursos para los agentes de seguridad

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President Joe Biden will ask Congress this Thursday for an additional $35 billion in funding for the police, despite members of his party pushing for a move to defund the police.

In a call with reporters, a senior White House official explained that Biden would ask Congress for an additional $35 billion on top of the $2 billion previously announced, which would bring the federal budget dedicated to law enforcement to a total of $37 billion.

This money would be used to provide more funding for law enforcement —including the hiring and training of 100,000 new officers nationwide— and to promote effective prosecution of crimes to keep repeat offenders off the streets.

In addition, Biden also proposes stiffer penalties for trafficking opiate fentanyl. He also asks Congress to legislate for e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, to verify sellers’ information and be penalized if stolen products are sold on them.

The president also suggested creating a $15 billion plan (part of the $37 billion) for cities and states across the United States to develop strategies to prevent violent crime and reduce the work of the police. This is by identifying non-violent situations that do not require police involvement and can be solved by a social worker.

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In recent months, Democrats have tried to disassociate themselves as much as possible from the “Defund the Police” movement and have been attempting to reinforce their image as allies of the police forces, especially as the November legislative elections approach, in which security is expected to be one of the most critical issues in the polls.

Violent crime has soared in U.S. cities since the start of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Large cities such as New York, Chicago, and Houston have experienced increases in the number of homicides by more than 45% compared to before 2020.

In metropolises such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, the increase in home and vehicle burglaries has become one of the main reasons for citizen complaints and has sparked initiatives to oust the prosecutors of both cities as they are considered too tolerant of crime.

In the case of San Francisco, voters already recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin in June; in Los Angeles, the process against District Attorney George Gascón is already underway.

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