Biden addressed the 40th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service, which was held to remember the 491 officers who were killed in the line of duty between 2019 and 2020. Biden stood where the mob attempted to stop his ascension into the presidency. He spoke out to remember the 150 injured officers and five of those who died in the aftermath.
Your brothers and sisters stopped an unconstitutional, fundamentally un-American attack against our nation's values. "Democracy survived because of you," Biden stated. "Because these men and women saved us from a disaster, but their heroism cost you and your family."
Many officers and their families sat in chairs on the Capitol's west side. As the president made connections between their loss and his own grief history, including the deaths his first wife and the deaths of his two children, some in the audience squinted as he described it as "losing a part of your soul".
Biden also highlighted the burden on law enforcement officers and said that those who gathered before him would receive "more resources, rather than fewer, so that you can do what you have to do."
Biden spoke up about his working-class roots and mentioned that he had many friends in childhood who became police officers. He also said that he has spoken at the event before. Biden has always sought to identify with the uniformed service throughout his political career. However, Saturday's event was run by the National Fraternal Order of Police. Many rank-and-file officers supported Trump in the 2020 election.
Biden's attempts to pass a bill for a police overhaul to tighten practice after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis fell apart. In September, congressional negotiators announced that negotiations had failed to reach an agreement. This was a blow for President Obama, a Democratic candidate who had stressed the importance of policing reforms and declared it a priority.
His agenda on gun violence is largely deadlocked and the initial choice to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was forced to resign in the face of fierce opposition. Biden expressed more recently his hope that he could still sign a comprehensive bill to overhaul the police force and explore executive actions to hold officers accountable for violating the law.
Biden, who expressed concern for all officers serving in the line-of-duty, mentioned three constable deputies that were killed in an ambush while they were working at a Houston bar. One deputy was killed.