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White House puts on hold President Biden's vowed police oversight commission

Biden during his presidential campaign said he would form such a commission within his first 100 days in office.

Updated: April 12, 2021 - 11:55am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The White House is putting the formation of a national police oversight commission on hold, despite President Biden's campaign promise to create one within his first 100 days in office.

"Based on close, respectful consultation with partners in the civil rights community, the administration made the considered judgment that a police commission, at this time, would not be the most effective way to deliver on our top priority in this area, which is to sign the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act into law," Susan Rice, director of the Domestic Policy Council, said in a statement to Politico.

H.R. 1280 or the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 is a law enforcement accountability legislation sponsored by California Democratic Rep. Karen Bass. The bill seeks to lower the criminal intent standard from willful to knowing or reckless to convict a law enforcement officer. This bill also aims to limit qualified immunity and grants the Justice Department the power to subpoena law enforcement agencies if they see fit.

Civil rights community organizations and police unions spoke to the White House, arguing that the oversight commission was unnecessary and redundant, leading to the Biden administration on Sunday to cancel the effort.

"Looking ahead, in the first 100 days of my presidency, I have committed to creating a national police oversight commission,” Biden said in Philadelphia in November 2020, promising a police oversight commission.

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