Reasons Why a Police Reform Agenda from the Biden Administration Cannot Wait

President Joe Biden left the inauguration stage and got straight to work signing executive orders for some of the most pressing issues facing the U.S. He abolished the Muslim travel ban, signed an executive order calling for mandated mask-wearing inside federal buildings and extended moratoriums on evictions and student-loan payments sanctioned by the Trump administration.

All of these executive actions are beneficial in their own right, however, advocates for police reform are hoping not to be on the backburner of the new administration’s to-do list.

Over the past decade conversation around police reform and police accountability has dominated the public sphere in response to high-profile instances of state-sanctioned violence. Whenever an unarmed or mentally compromised Black or Brown person has been killed by American police, the outcry for reform stretches from the streets to metro council meetings to the voting polls.

There are several perspectives on the function of American police in modern society. Some believe in the complete abolition of policing as a form of public safety. Some believe in robustly defunding the police and reallocating cities’ budgets to social services that are better equipped to solve specific issues. Others believe in advanced implicit bias training and an increase in funding to support the salaries and qualitative preparation of the police before they begin their roles as public servants.

No matter what end of the spectrum Americans land on, the number of citizens who feel that something must be done about police violence has grown considerably in recent years.

There’s a long list of reasons why the Biden administration cannot wait to decide on a course of action. But for the sake of offering a refresher, here are a few:

  1. George Floyd

  2. Breonna Taylor

  3. Rayshard Brooks

  4. Tony McDade

  5. Jacob Blake

  6. Patrick Warren Sr.

  7. Sean Monterrosa

  8. Casey Goodson

  9. Dijon Kizzee

  10. Angelo Crooms

  11. Sincere Pierce

  12. Johnathan Price

  13. Michael Ramos

  14. Daniel Prude

  15. Atatiana Jefferson

  16. Elijah McClain

  17. Ronald Greene

  18. Marcellis Stinnette

  19. Andre Hill

  20. Carlos Carson

Note: this is a small, inconclusive list of Black and Brown Americans killed by American police under questionable circumstances just within the last two years.

About the Author

Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate, and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be

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