President Joe Biden believes “the bar is too high” for convicting police officers and will use his speech to a joint session of Congress next week to push for police reform legislation, the White House said on Wednesday.
Biden is to address a joint session of Congress on April 28, marking 100 days in office with what is arguably his biggest speech since taking office on Jan. 20.
The conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the May 2020 death of George Floyd has brought renewed attention to the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would ban chokeholds and require that deadly force only be used as a last resort in arrests.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden has discussed the legislation with lawmakers, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus when they met on Tuesday.
She said the president has “every intention” of using his big speech “as an opportunity to elevate this issue and talk about the importance of putting police reform measures in place.”
Psaki said Biden believes it is currently too difficult to convict police officers.
“He believes the bar for convicting officers is too high. It needs to be changed,” she said.