President Biden cancelled his planned keynote address at the National Fraternal Order of Police’s National Peace Officers Memorial Service, which was to honor fallen police officers for National Police Week.
Instead, Attorney General Merrick Garland represented the administration at the event. The President’s name had already been printed on the event program, leading many to speculate about the reasons for his absence.
NEW: Biden abruptly cancels speech honoring fallen police officers https://t.co/hqZ2mT6VBA
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 15, 2023
It was later revealed that President Biden had attended his granddaughter’s graduation from the University of Pennsylvania on the same day.
The White House and FOP did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In a video statement released on Twitter on Monday, President Biden reaffirmed his support for law enforcement, stating that “the answer is not to defund the police.”
He went on to pat his administration on the back for its anti-2A gun control measures. Biden also boasted about the American Rescue Plan, which provided $350 billion for states and cities to retain and hire more officers, pay overtime and bonuses, and expand benefits for disabled first responders.
This National Police Week – and on Peace Officers Memorial Day – we recognize the absolute courage of officers across America. pic.twitter.com/1UGNR0bGMW
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 15, 2023
President Biden claimed that more than $10 billion of those funds have already been used by hundreds of communities. The President stressed the importance of increasing safety for police officers, particularly in the context of gun control measures.
“I signed the most sweeping gun safety law in nearly 30 years to make sure officers are not outgunned on the streets,” Biden said. “We’re also strengthening background checks for gun purchases, cracking down on illegal gun sales, and reigning in so-called ghost guns that officers have told me are increasingly found at crime scenes.
Biden continued to say that they “seeks another $37 billion to hire 100,000 more police officers trained in community policing to provide law enforcement with mental health and wellness resources, and to ensure that they have more school counselors, psychologists, social workers responding to a crisis alongside them as they show up.” He also supported investing “in programs that are proven to tackle the root causes of crime.”