Biden abruptly cancels speech honoring fallen police officers
President Biden canceled his speech honoring fallen police officers for National Police Week, instead allegedly traveling to his granddaughter's graduation.
Biden was slated to deliver a keynote address at the National Fraternal Order of Police's (FOP) National Peace Officers Memorial Service on Monday as the week honoring our nation’s law enforcement officers kicked off.
The president, however, pulled out of the event seemingly at the last minute — his name had already been printed on the event program — and Attorney General Merrick Garland was sent in Biden's stead.
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Blinken read a letter from the president in his absence at the event.
Instead, Biden on Monday attended his granddaughter Maisy Biden's graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, which houses the Biden Center, where classified documents were found last year.
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The White House and FOP did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Biden issued a video statement Monday honoring National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day, affirming that the "answer is not to defund" law enforcement.
In doing so, the Democratic president turned against the 2020 rallying cry of some members of his own party. He then went on in the 2-minute-52-second message to tout what he deemed his administration’s gun control successes.
"Let’s be very clear. The answer is not to defund the police," Biden said. "It is to provide you with the resources and training to be the partners and protectors of the communities that are in need."
Biden applauded himself for signing the American Rescue Plan during the pandemic, providing $350 billion for states and cities that could be used to retain and hire more officers, pay overtime and bonuses, expand benefits for disabled first responders and "keep communities safe." The president said that so far, hundreds of communities have used more than $10 billion of those funds.
From there, Biden jumped to discussing gun control, putting it in the context of increasing safety for police officers.
"I signed the most sweeping gun safety law in nearly 30 years to make sure officers are not outgunned on the streets," Biden said. "We’re also strengthening background checks for gun purchases, cracking down on illegal gun sales, and reigning in so-called ghost guns that officers have told me are increasingly found at crime scenes.
Biden added that he now "seeks another $37 billion to hire 100,000 more police officers trained in community policing to provide law enforcement with mental health and wellness resources, and to ensure that they have more school counselors, psychologists, social workers responding to a crisis alongside them as they show up." He also supported investing "in programs that are proven to tackle the root causes of crime."
Fox News Digital's Danielle Wallace contributed reporting.