“We need some morality and we need some leadership,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told Joe Biden today of what he was looking for from the federal government after weeks of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the City of Angels and a weekend of protests and unrest arising from the killing of George Floyd last week.
As the Democrats’ presumptive nominee lamented a “horrible several years, but horrible six months” and the “inhuman …murder” of Floyd by a Minneapolis cop, Garcetti lambasted current “national leadership pushing back to 20th century policing, when crime rates were higher” with threats of greater violence in response.
The video conference was followed soon afterward today with an announcement from Garcetti’s office that L.A. would be under a curfew for the third night in a row. The citywide and countywide lockdown starts at 6 PM and runs until 6 AM Tuesday.
Before that, former Vice-President Biden and Garcetti were joined Monday in a remote roundtable by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot after a weekend that saw their respective cities rocked by nights of police rubber bullets, violence and looting following primary peaceful protests. St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter joined in about 10 minutes after the roundtable started, though his connection from the back of a car dropped out a couple of times until he was able to log on from his office.
Listening to the civic leaders about the inadequate response to the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting harsh economic downturn and now social disturbance stemming from police violence, Biden called out current Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell as taking the attitude of “let them eat cake” to providing more relief to hobbled small businesses and cities. “This is bizarre,” he added.
While all the civic officials in the roundtable today are Democrats like Biden, Garcetti is particularly close to the ex-VP, as was evident repeatedly on their video conference this morning.
Pegged as a likely cabinet appointee in a Biden administration, longtime supporter Garcetti is helping to lead the Vice-Presidential search for the former Veep this year. Promising earlier this year to pick a woman as his running mate, Biden has said he will make his selection public in the next few weeks.
Visiting a church in Wilmington Delaware earlier this morning, the former VP promised 15 leaders of the African American community in attendance that if elected he would put together an oversight board to look at policing tactics with 100 days of taking office. We’re going to make sure that the economic recovery deals with the institutional structures and institutional racism, but also economic structures that needs to be fixed,” a COVID-19 mask wearing Biden added, addressing how communities of color have been disproportionally hit by the health pandemic.
That was the second time in as many days that Biden has ventured out from the lockdown in his own nearby home. On Sunday, after speaking privately with the Floyd family, the candidate went unannounced to a protest site in his adopted hometown to speak with and listen to those who have been out in the street over the murder of the Minneapolis man on May 25 by a now ex-cop facing third-degree murder charges.
On the other hand, after tossing out more tweets throwing more unsubstantiated blame for the protests and the violence on the weekend on left-wing groups and more bravado the former Celebrity Apprentice host then went on a reported defensive tirade against the nation’s governors on a video conference of his own today. As well as calling the state leaders “weak,” among other insults, Trump also got on the phone on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin – who he was probably much more polite to.
“If in fact I make it, you guys are in trouble,” Biden told the four Mayors near the end of their nearly one-hour video chat today, “cause I’m going to need your help getting it done. The POTUS hopeful concluded: “We got to do something big.”
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