White House meets with civil rights leaders on police reform

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The U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. A centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s climate change strategy all but dashed, lawmakers are heading Tuesday to the White House as Democrats search for for common ground on ways to narrow and reshape his sweeping $3.5 trillion budget plan. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

By AFRO Staff

The White House announced a meeting with Black civil rights leaders, Oct. 22.

The focus of the meeting was police reform, the White House said.

The meeting comes as criticism of the Biden Administration continues to mount. Criticism aimed at President Joe Biden, the Democratic Party, and a Democratic-majority Congress that is making progress on police reform legislation.

Police reform was a major campaign promise during the 2020 Biden campaign.

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“The administration officials stressed the president’s belief that this moment demands action to hold accountable law enforcement officers who violate their oaths, and that we cannot be deterred by individuals who are trying to block progress,” the White House said.

In summary, the White House said civil rights leaders in attendance are asking for direct action from the president via executive order.

“The civil rights leaders underscored the urgency for action given the lack of progress in Congress, and proposed a number of ideas for advancing meaningful reforms through executive actions, including to advance accountability for police misconduct, and to improve data collection about interactions between police and individuals,” the White House said.

Data collection was also a talking point during Mr. Biden’s Baltimore town hall, Oct. 21.

The White House named the following civil rights leaders in attendance:

  • Melanie Campbell, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
  • Joi Chaney, National Urban League
  • Alicia Garza, Black Futures Lab
  • Wade Henderson, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
  • Damon Hewitt, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Derrick Johnson, NAACP
  • Janice Mathis, National Council of Negro Women
  • Jesselyn McCurdy, Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
  • Rashad Robinson, Color of Change
  • Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network

The White House does not name President Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris as attendants to the meeting.

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