Joe Biden, Jim Pasco, Leila Fadel discussed on Morning Edition
I'm Noel King in Washington, D C and I'm Leila Fadel in Culver City, California. This Fourth of July weekend. At least 150 people were killed in about 400 shootings across the nation. President Biden is trying to walk a thin line trying to tackle this surge in violent crime while also getting a police reform bill across the finish line. Biden has been a loyal ally to the police for years, but now he's also calling for more accountability in their ranks. NPR's Asma Khalid joins us now to talk about this good morning asthma. Good morning, Leila. So how would you describe the president's relationship with the police right now? Well, the president is trying to balance calls from activists for this major overhaul of policing with concerns about law and order amid a crime wave. The president himself has a long personal relationship with police dating back to his time in the Senate working on the 1994 crime bill. The question, of course, is whether those old ties will help him Now the president seems to think they will. Here he is last summer at a campaign stop in Pittsburgh. I know most cops are good, decent people. I know how they risk their lives every time they put that shield on a number of us go back, you know, 25 years with Joe Biden. Chuck Wexler leads, uh, police thinking in Washington, D C I knew him when the Senate we had him speak at our meetings. When he was vice president, he would routinely have law enforcement. At the residents. You know, he told President Obama when he was vice president. He wanted the police portfolio, so he knows this issue. But Jim Pasco with the fraternal Order of Police says Biden has had an evolution from the nineties. Which was probably the point at which the relationship was its closest, his move to the left in his thinking and that colors his approach to pretty much all things law enforcement. At the same time, Pasco says, attitudes among police officers have also shifted and it has gone from rather centrist position in the nineties. To the right of center. At this point, Pasqua's union actually endorsed former President Donald Trump over Joe Biden and the 2020 election, he says there's still a lot of affection for Biden among people of his generation. The thing is that same feeling doesn't necessarily exist among younger officers and law enforcement skews young. Law enforcement groups described the relationship with the Biden White House as cordial and candid. They've spoken to the attorney general and senior administration officials multiple times, but they have not spoken directly to Biden. It's a contrast to how quickly former President Trump reached out. Just a couple of weeks after he was inaugurated. Jonathan Thompson is with the National Sheriff's Association. We were asked to sit down within President Trump and did so and spent two hours going through the top 10 things that he wanted to achieve in the top 10 things we thought he should be achieving, and that's a temperature check that we have to take. It's a temperature check, he says They have not yet taken with President Biden. But some law enforcement groups have taken that temp check with senior advisers to the president like Cedric Richmond. If the question is do they have access? The question? Is they do? Um, because it's important to us. To make sure that we're keeping families safe and making sure that they know that we're concerned about unconstitutional policing and excessive force in this country, and we've relayed that to him. But the fact that the conversation the White House is having with police is about excessive force is a problem for some in the law enforcement community. I feel like this focus is contributing to low morale at a time when police forces are seeing record resignations and retirements, and they feel like the conversation ought to be focused on the crime wave sweeping the country. Cedric Richmond defends the White House's approach. What I think those police groups should recognize is that during the campaign when defund the police was at its highest moment, The president's plan called for $300 million more to community policing. There is no doubt Biden still has some friends in law enforcement. Art. Azevedo is the Miami police chief. And, he says it's admirable in his view that Biden is quote beaten up by the extreme right and the extreme left for his public safety positions, his history of working with law enforcement. I think that helps him in terms of being able to navigate the need for reform without being painted as this anti police left wing guy, right? Because that's simply not who yes. So, Asma, Let's talk about reform. There have been negotiations for months in Congress around a police reform bill, but no deal. Yet. Last month, negotiators said they had reached an agreement on a framework. But there are changes that some Democrats want, like eliminating qualified immunity that some police groups tell me are just nonstarters for them. Jonathan Thompson, with the Sheriff's association says law enforcement is in an untenable situation right now, and he thinks the president knows that but I think at the same time he has some very, very hard decisions. He's going to have to make that. Frankly, there may not be of middle ground to land on You know, the president speaks about finding a solution to police reform if he could just get civil rights activists police unions in a room together, But he's also now dealing with a crime wave. And there's a sense that in order to have the political space to tackle reform, the administration needs to get violent crime under control. Which is why you heard the president recently. Say that right now is not a time to turn our backs quote on law enforcement. NPR's Asma Khalid. Thank you. You're welcome. The very large container ship that blocked Egypt's Suez Canal for more than a week back in March will start sailing again. Tomorrow It took a massive salvage effort to free it, and the ship's Japanese owners have agreed to pay the Suez Canal Authority. Here's NPR's Joanna Ka kisses. He attacked. The one from the Suez Canal Authority's chairman, Osama Robbie told a private Egyptian television channel that he won't reveal how much compensation was paid. In the deal. The two party signed a non disclosure agreement. Robbie praised the deal as important, saying it will preserve ties with the company and Japan. But Michelle VC. Bachmann, a shipping analyst for Lloyd's list, is troubled that there are so few public details about this deal as well as the incident and the investigation into it. Well, first of all, we need to know how it happened. I mean, these ships are worth Tens of millions of dollars and the trade that's on pawn them is worth. You know, one container ship the size of the ever given carries about, you know, 700 million to a billion dollars worth of cargo, so we need to know why this happened. Bachmann is also concerned that the Suez Canal Authority initially demanded $900 million in compensation huge, unrealistic sums of money. So all of the questions that in any other industry would be raising alarm bells and people would want to be finding the answers to. Nevertheless, the Suez Canal Authority is planning to hold a ceremony.