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Biden balances fighting rising crime, reforming police

Joe Biden, Muriel Bowser
Posted at 5:51 PM, Jul 12, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing rising fears of summer violence, President Joe Biden has embarked on a precarious political high-wire act, trying to balance supporting law enforcement to curb the rise in crime while also backing the police reform movement championed by many of his supporters.

Biden met with Democratic urban leaders - including Eric Adams, the heavy favorite to be the next mayor of New York City - at the White House on Monday about shootings as Democrats warily watch the violence across the nation.

Though limited to what could be done at the federal level, Biden promised to support efforts on the ground to combat crime.

“We know when we utilize trusted community members and encourage more community policing, we can intervene before the violence erupts,” the president said.

The meeting was the second in just three weeks, underscoring the political concern crime has become for Democrats as they look to protect their thin margins in Congress.

Big-city mayors and lawmakers have sounded the alarm on the rise in crime, believed partly fueled by destabilizing forces of the pandemic, and polls suggest it is an increasing matter of concern for many Americans.