FACT CHECK: Does Joe Biden Support Defunding The Police, As Donald Trump Claims?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter that former Vice President Joe Biden wants to “defund the police.”

Verdict: False

Biden and his campaign have refuted the claim several times. His campaign website does not list defunding the police as part of Biden’s platform.

Fact Check:

Some activists have called to “defund the police” following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in late May.

Trump has attempted to link Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, to the growing movement, according to USA Today. For instance, Trump claimed on Twitter that “Sleepy Joe Biden and the Radical Left Democrats want to ‘DEFUND THE POLICE’. I want great and well paid LAW ENFORCEMENT. I want LAW & ORDER!”

However, Biden and his campaign have refuted the claim that the former vice president supports calls to “defund the police” on several occasions. (RELATED: Donald Trump Claims DC Mayor ‘Wouldn’t Let The DC Police Get Involved’ With May 29 White House Protest)

“As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded,” said spokesman Andrew Bates in a statement. “Biden has called for an additional $300 million for community policing as well as funding for body cameras to be worn by officers.”

Biden discussed the issue directly during a June 9 interview with CBS News.

“No, I don’t support defunding the police,” Biden told CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell. “I support conditioning federal aid to police, based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness. And, in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community and everybody in the community.”

In a June 10 USA Today op-ed, Biden also reiterated his position, writing that the “better answer is to give police departments the resources they need to implement meaningful reforms, and to condition other federal dollars on completing those reforms.”

On Biden’s campaign website, he proposes a criminal justice reform agenda that, among other things, includes investing $300 million into the existing Community Oriented Policing Services Program. He also pledges to expand the Justice Department’s authority to investigate “systemic police misconduct” and “unconstitutional or unlawful policing,” according to his campaign website. Nowhere on Biden’s website does it advocate for defunding police departments.

The White House did not return a request for comment.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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