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Biden hails police for ‘putting their bodies on the line’ to stop pro-Trump riot

Joe Biden thanked all law enforcement personnel for their part in defending democracy on 6 January in remarks delivered on the steps of the US Capitol honouring fallen officers.

Speaking at the 40th annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, the president said of the courage of police in countering the pro-Trump Capitol riot: “Because of you, democracy survived.”

Mr Biden spoke about the huge expectations people have on police today, adding: “We expect everything of [police officers], and it’s beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it’s ever been.”

Addressing the families of fallen officers, he drew from his own personal losses and grief and said: “We know from personal experience that every time there’s a ceremony or memorial honoring your lost husband or wife, son, or daughter, it can summon that pride, but also that terrible feeling as if you’re just hearing the news for the first time.”

“No parent should bury a child,” he said, adding that it was like “losing part of your soul”.

Mr Biden also cited the funding allocated to police departments in the American Rescue Plan and said that he is committed to investing in mental health resources in particular.

“You shouldn’t be the one having to talk someone off the edge of a roof; you should have professional help with you,” he said.

In honour of Saturday’s service, the president issued a proclamation on Friday that to pay respect to all law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, and their families, all US flags be flown at half-staff.

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