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Corrected: Biden Calls For Redirecting Some Police Funding, Less Military Equipment, More Mental Health Funding

This article has been revised to more accurately reflect Joe Biden’s statements on funding of the police.  The original article stated that Joe Biden had endorsed ‘defunding’ the police when in fact he has suggested ‘redirecting’ some of their funding.  The article also had claimed that Biden had called the police the ‘enemy of the people’, when he never directly said this.

According to the fact checkers at the AP:

CLAIM: During an interview with activist Ady Barkan, Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden gave his full support to defunding the police in the United States.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Biden said he supports redirecting some police funding to address mental health or to change the prison system.

THE FACTS: Since George Floyd’s death in police custody in May, one of the main demands from activists and protesters in the Black Lives Matter movement has been for local and federal governments to defund the police.

Given this, in an interview between Biden and Barkan published July 8 by the digital media site NowThis News, one of the topics discussed was police funding.

Since that interview was posted, various news outlets and opinion blogs have published stories claiming both that Biden called police “the enemy” and that he agreed to defund the police.

“Joe Biden Says Police Have ‘Become the Enemy,’ ‘Absolutely’ Should Defund Them,” reads a headline from the conservative website Townhall.com.

That story and others with the same claims got explosive traction on social media, viewed hundreds of thousands of times and shared by prominent figures including White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

But such statements are incorrect. Biden never suggested he wanted to completely defund the police, and his quote about police becoming “the enemy” is taken out of context.

In the interview, Biden agrees with Barkan that some of the funding for police should be redirected into different programs, such as mental health counseling.

He also said that, in his opinion, police forces don’t need military equipment, because it makes them look as if they are invading communities.

“The last thing you need is an up-armored Humvee coming into a neighborhood,” he said. “It’s like the military invading. They don’t know anybody. They become the enemy. They’re supposed to be protecting these people.”

Biden never directly said police “are the enemy,” though some headlines claimed he did.

A month earlier, on June 8, Biden’s campaign released a statement explaining he does not support defunding police forces.

Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said the candidate “does not believe that police should be defunded,” The Associated Press reported at the time.

“Biden supports the urgent need for reform ⁠— including funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing ⁠— so that officers can focus on the job of policing,” Bates said.

On July 8, the same day the Ady Barkan interview came out, Biden also clarified his views on the topic, according to AP reporting.

“We don’t have to defund the police departments, we have to make sure they meet minimum basic standards of decency,” he told reporters. VIA The AP

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Matthew CHoiwb

    July 9, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Think he is in a complete functional mind? Wait till he gets attacked. And he is a two faced liar. He has always been a racist and was trained by the Best R. Byrd

  2. Meri

    July 9, 2020 at 9:28 am

    What about the children in the black neighborhoods that are being shot to death by their own people???? He needs to shut his mouth about this. Are we only pandering to the black people for defunding the police? What about us white people, we have no say????? He’s a bunch of bullshit and is only pandering for votes. Remember, if you vote for Trump instead of me than you aint black.

    • keith O'Brien

      July 9, 2020 at 10:42 am

      Joe you were in office for 8 yrs with obama and 40 years in congress, you created these problems, Also how about citizen reform on being a good citizen and stop arguing with police and resisting arrest.

  3. bo me

    July 9, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Joe Biden is not creative. He is not special. He is only able to lie and trick voters into helping him make a living.

  4. Joseph

    July 10, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Attention: Facebook and AP are claiming that Biden did not call for funding in this video even though the person clearly asked “Do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding [from police]?” and Biden responded “Yes, absolutely.”

    So when redirecting become redefined? Redirecting funds is taking funds away from one thing and, well, re-directed to something else. Partial de-funding is still de-funding, only at a partial level of de-funding.

    The AP are clearly a fake-news organization conducting a dis-information campaign and facebook is using them to make fake claims against true facts.

    • Joseph

      July 10, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      “Attention: Facebook and AP are claiming that Biden did not call for DE-funding”. LOL, no ability to correct the post. Defunding, not funding.

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