Dozens shot across US in weekend of violence as Biden prepares to launch his anti-crime policy this week

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President Joe Biden will focus his public events on Wednesday on combatting crime.  (AP)
President Joe Biden will focus his public events on Wednesday on combatting crime. (AP)

Gun violence ripped through gatherings across the US over the weekend as President Biden prepares to put the focus addressing the crime spike roiling the nation.

Starting on Friday night, Colorado Springs experienced multiple shootings that injured five people.

On early Saturday, two people were killed and four were injured in a shooting in Louisiana.

Flint, Michigan saw the death of a 19-year-old woman shot by police. According to law enforcement, the suspect opened fire first.

At least five were killed and 44 people were injured in shootings in Chicago, Illinois over the weekend.

And a suspect in Kansas was killed by police after an exchange of gunfire, which led to an officer being taken to hospital in critical condition, according to a local police chief.

In Texas, eight people, including two children, were shot after a confrontation at a party.

In northern California, one person died after seven people were shot in Oakland. “Immediately after the shooting, Oakland Police Officers observed two men running from the scene with firearms. Both men have been arrested and two firearms recovered,” the Oakland Police Department said about the shooting, which took place near Lake Merritt.

The spike in violent crime over the last year comes as President Joe Biden prepares to focus his public events on combatting crime on Wednesday.

The issue of crime has been top of mind for the Republican Party and fills up many broadcasting hours of conservative media powerhouse Fox News.

During the Democratic presidential primary, then-candidate Joe Biden managed to turn down the temperature on criminal justice issues that motivated the Democratic progressive base but turned off many other voters the party needed in their coalition to win.

Progressives pushed for the abolishing of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, defunding the police by spending some of the money on other public institutions and decriminalize illegal border crossings. Mr Biden has made clear that he’s against defunding the police.

Since the entrance of the new administration into the White House, the Biden team has been hesitant to venture beyond issues such as ending the pandemic, boosting the economy, and passing its jobs and families plans.

Wednesday’s focus on crime during the president’s public events is a departure from a playbook that has consisted of vaccines, jobs, infrastructure, and reengaging with western democracies.

Earlier this month, on the fifth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida – where a shooter killed 49 people in June 2016 – Mr Biden said the Senate must pass gun control reform to address the “public health epidemic of gun violence".

“It is long past time we close the loopholes that allow gun buyers to bypass background checks in this country, and the Senate should start by passing the three House-passed bills which would do exactly that,” Mr Biden said in a statement.

But the bills are unlikely to pass in the Senate as Republicans remain opposed to them.

Police reform talks between the two parties “been stuck in neutral for weeks,” according to Politico.

NBC News reported earlier this month that progress was being made, with the main issue remaining to be solved being qualified immunity – a practice established by the Supreme Court in 1967 that protects state and local officials, such as police officers, from being liable personally unless if they are found to have violated a person’s “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights”.

Critics say the policy gives officers the freedom to use excessive force.

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