Black Lives Matter leaders met with Biden White Home officers on police reform

Protesters gather near the White House before a group attempted to tear down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square on June 22, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Black Lives Matter leaders met with members of President Joe Biden’s team as the White House and lawmakers negotiated the details of a possible police reform deal.

In a statement first broadcast to CNBC, Black Lives Matter said the leaders recently met with White House officials to discuss their agenda. The activist group is not satisfied with what has happened since the discussion, namely with proposals to give police departments more money.

“Black Lives Matter executives met with White House officials earlier this year to discuss our policy agenda, and while we appreciate the opportunity to speak with them, we are surprised by their lack of progress on issues that are black-minded People, the same communities, matter. ” who supported Biden-Harris so much in last year’s election, “the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation told CNBC in an email on Tuesday.

It is unclear when the meeting took place or which officials from both sides attended the meeting. Politico reported in May that the BLM had yet to meet with the Biden White House. The Washington Post reported late last year that Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, wrote a letter to Biden and Kamala Harris about a possible meeting.

Black Lives Matter press representatives responded to requests for additional comments. The White House has not responded to requests for comment.

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., One of the lawmakers working on police reform, told NBC News that the negotiations had encountered some obstacles due to power struggles between law enforcement groups.

“I worry that it might prevent us from coming to an agreement. And you know what a really sad statement I think about the profession that they would actually prevent reforms and refuse to modernize,” she said.

The meeting and its aftermath suggest that Black Lives Matter and the Biden team are heading for a stalemate. It’s also a sign that Black Lives Matter may not have as much impact at the Biden White House as the group hoped.

Black Lives Matter, created after George Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 in the murder of the unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, is calling for a reduction in police spending. For years the group has inspired and organized large protests against brutality against blacks.

Last year, Black Lives Matter’s group and motto gained popularity and relevance after police murdered George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other black Americans as protests erupted across the country.

Biden won the 2020 election with the overwhelming support of black voters.

The president recently said that states could raise $ 350 billion in stimulus funds to bolster police forces. Biden has also announced a series of measures his government is taking to curb the rise in crime and gun violence.

This didn’t go well with Black Lives Matter or activists calling for the defunding of police departments.

“And now we see the president arguing for increased spending on the police force instead of investing in housing, education, climate protection and health care,” Black Lives Matter said in a statement to CNBC. “This is no time to go back to the dangerous scare days of the 1990s when more police officers were deployed in our neighborhoods rather than services that improve lives and keep black communities safe.”

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