Washington, Jul 12 (PTI) US Vice President Joe Biden today said that “institutional racism” exists throughout the society and a closer connection is needed between the police and community, days after five police officers were shot dead during a protest decrying police killings of black men last week.
“There is institutional racism, it exists throughout our society,” Biden said.
“We’ve gotten better, but we still have a long way to go.
The truth of the matter is, as a practical matter, it is getting incrementally better, but the truth is, that that’s not good enough,” he was quoted as saying by MSNBC.
“There’s an increasing gap between what they need to be able to be in the neighbourhoods in a totally constructive way and the resources made available,” he said after he held a meeting at White House with law enforcement agencies in the aftermath of the Dallas shooting.
The meeting was also attended by President Barack Obama.
During the meeting, they discussed the implementation of the reforms and recommendations laid out by the 21st Century Policing Task Force.
“They also talked about ways to support officer training in safely deescalating confrontations and systems to ensure the safety and wellness of those who protect all of us,” the White House said in a statement.
Obama recognised the importance of their continued partnership and emphasised his commitment to finding solutions to enhance public safety and reduce tensions between officers and the communities they serve, the White House said.
“This is a very time consuming, difficult, important process. But, the most important thing for both the police to know, as well as in my view, the community to know, we are relentlessly trying to move forward to bring those communities together,” Biden was quoted as saying by the CNN.
“One of the ways to do that is to go back to community policing. We have significantly, on a relative basis, cut funding for local law enforcement,” he said.
Responding to a question, Biden said there is nothing inconsistent with supporting the police and acknowledging the problems that exist in terms of dealing with the communities that, in fact, are feeling put upon.
Fourteen people, including 12 police officers, were shot by a lone gunman on Thursday night after a peaceful protest against officer-involved violence around the country. Five of those officers were killed.