Biden grieves with police officers ahead of anticipated Trump endorsements

President Joe Biden appealed to the families of fallen police officers during the annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol.

“I admire your courage in being here, and I hope you take comfort in the knowledge that their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Biden told the crowd on Wednesday.

Biden also reflected on the deaths of his wife Neilia, daughter Naomi, and son Beau, describing his grief as “that black hole in the middle of your chest.”

President Joe Biden speaks during a memorial service to honor law enforcement officers who’ve lost their lives in the past year during National Police Week ceremonies at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Biden’s address coincides with expectations that Biden’s 2024 Republican general election opponent, former President Donald Trump, will be endorsed by many police unions before November’s contest.

During his speech at the 40th service, Biden spoke of paying his respects to the families of the four law enforcement officers who were killed by Terry Clark Hughes Jr., 39, in Charlotte, North Carolina, last month as they tried to serve felony arrest warrants on him.

Despite Biden’s support of police officers, he has had an uneasy relationship with law enforcement, exacerbated by calls during the 2020 election to defund departments across the country. For instance, he was criticized in March for not attending the funeral of New York City Police Department Officer Jonathan Diller, who was shot dead during a traffic stop in Queens. Trump made an appearance at the Diller funeral, held the week of Biden’s million-dollar fundraiser with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

“As the president says, we must do more to protect our brave men and women in law enforcement,” the White House said earlier Wednesday. “That means funding for more officers, more detectives, and more technology — so officers have what they need to do their jobs safely and protect us, and taking additional action to counter gun violence.”

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Regardless, Republicans sense a political weakness, with the House Republican campaign arm, for example, releasing an ad this week attacking Democratic candidate Dave Min over his past positions regarding defunding the police.

“The ad unmasks Dave Min, Democrats’ nominee in the highly competitive open California 47th Congressional District, as a radical law-breaker who sides with criminals over cops,”
National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ben Petersen told reporters.

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