President Biden on Thursday said that the scathing report the Justice Department issued about the investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department was “long overdue.”
The report released on Wednesday found that the police department and the local government had engaged in a pattern of discriminatory behavior against Black citizens.
“Cops need help. There’s some bad cops, by the way. What we did, my Justice Department just did in Louisville, Kentucky, was long overdue — put those suckers in jail,” Biden said in remarks during a visit to Philadelphia.
“By the way, how many cops you know like bad cops? I don’t know many, not a joke,” he added.
Biden’s comments on the Louisville police investigation came as he touted the funding for policing included in his proposed national budget, which he unveiled on Thursday. The budget includes funding for 100,000 more police officers nationwide and would give law enforcement $19.4 billion over 10 years for crime prevention strategies.
The budget would also give $5 billion over 10 years for community violence interventions, including hiring more school nurses, counselors and mental health help, as well as training new officers.
Biden has recently tried to navigate the politically charged issue of crime, which was in the spotlight last week when said he wouldn’t veto legislation Republicans had championed that would undo parts of a District of Columbia crime bill. He has consistently tried to push back on the narrative that he is soft on crime or aligned with the left-wing movement to “defund the police.”
The Justice Department launched the investigation into Louisville in April 2021, in the aftermath of the death of Breonna Taylor, an African American woman who was killed by police in 2020 following a no-knock warrant being executed at her apartment.
The report found that the police department and local government have regularly used excessive force, conducted searches without valid warrants, used no-knock warrants, discriminated against Black people in law enforcement activities and taken other actions that violate the Constitution and federal law.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Wednesday that the police department’s conduct was “unacceptable” and “heartbreaking.”