Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenKenosha mayor lifts curfew citing several ‘peaceful’ nights Conway says even more ‘hidden, undercover’ Trump voters will help him win reelection Disrupting the presidential debates MORE rolled out a new ad Thursday that focuses on one the most polarizing issues this election cycle: Police brutality and systemic racism within the criminal justice system.
Starting Thursday, the ad will air digitally in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — all key battleground states — as well as on top cable TV networks beginning over the weekend.
Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, the issues — along with a resurgent Black Lives Matter movement — have been brought to national spotlight this summer, catalyzed by the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis at the end of May.
The ad begins with the former vice president raising a question: “Why in this nation do Black Americans wake up knowing they could lose their life in the course of just living their life?”
“Part of the point of freedom is to be free from brutality, from injustice, from racism and all of its manifestations,” Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisA warning to Democrats: Small business owners are getting angry — very angry The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden weighs in on police shootings | Who’s moderating the debates | Trump trails in post-convention polls Biden holds 8-point lead over Trump after conventions: CNN poll MORE (D-Calif.), Biden’s running mate, says.
The 60-second ad highlights some of the ticket’s policy proposals, including the slashing of qualified immunity, which shields police officers from civil lawsuits, in an attempt to hold them accountable for misconduct.
“Reforming policing in this country means creating a national standard on use of force, and conditioning federal funds for police departments on adoption of that standard,” Harris says halfway through the ad.
Biden’s and Harris’s records on criminal justice are a sore spot for many progressive Democrats, while President TrumpDonald John TrumpKenosha mayor lifts curfew citing several ‘peaceful’ nights MSNBC’s Joy Reid concedes ‘framing’ of Muslim comments ‘didn’t work’ Conway says even more ‘hidden, undercover’ Trump voters will help him win reelection MORE and his allies have tried to paint the pair as part of the “radical left” that wants to defund the police.
In reality, one of Biden’s main policy proposals would see $300 million get invested in community policing around the country.
Also on Thursday, Biden is expected to meet with the father of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was critically injured after Kenosha police shot him seven times in front of three of his children late last month.