Former Chief Law Enforcement Officers from Both Parties Say Biden will Restore Calm and Undo Trump’s Chaos and Division

The following statement was recently issued by a bi-partisan group of 107 former state attorneys general, including me (1983-1991) and one of my predecessors, Tony Park (1971-1975). Our belief is that the Biden/Harris ticket will stand up to support the rule of law in the United States and work hard to reform the criminal justice system.

We, the undersigned law enforcement officials, endorse the Biden/Harris ticket for President and Vice President of the United States.

Joe Biden’s career has been fighting on behalf of the middle class. As former attorneys general we have seen him share our commitment to eliminate abuses of power — whether economic or physical power — that bear down on the lives of millions of Americans.

Joe Biden believes in common sense law enforcement dedicated to keeping all of us safe whether it is protecting us from violent crime, economic crime, or injustice. Joe was a leader in the establishment of community policing — where police work closely with local communities to help establish their priorities — writing and championing the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, establishing the first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, and launching a national campaign to change the culture surrounding campus rape and sexual assault.

Joe knows that changes are needed in our criminal justice system if we are to assure equality of treatment for all citizens regardless of race or economic standing. Today, too many people are incarcerated in the United States — and too many of them are black or brown. Joe knows that the best way to create safe and healthy communities is not to build prisons, but to build opportunity. He believes that we need to rethink whom we’re sending to jail, how we treat those in jail, and how we help them get the health care, education, jobs, and housing necessary to rejoin society after they serve their time. As President, Joe Biden will strengthen America’s commitment to justice and reform our criminal justice system.

The Biden Plan for Strengthening America’s Commitment to Justice is based on several core principles:

Joe Biden knows we must reduce the number of people incarcerated in this country while also reducing crime. Drug users should be diverted to drug courts and treatment. Because 90% of those incarcerated today are not in federal custody, Joe Biden knows that the federal government must vigorously support state and local efforts that are dedicated to meaningful reform. Reducing the number of incarcerated individuals will reduce government spending on incarceration and these savings must be reinvested in the communities impacted by mass incarceration.

Our criminal justice system cannot be just unless we root out the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the system. Black mothers and fathers should feel confident that their children are safe walking the streets and that law enforcement officers are there to support that safety. And, when a police officer pins on that shield and walks out the door, the officer’s family should know they will come home at the end of the day.

We agree with Joe Biden that our criminal justice system must be focused on public safety and rehabilitation. Making sure formerly incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to be productive members of our society is not only the right thing to do, it will also grow our economy.

Finally, Joe Biden has proven his commitment to fair and just law enforcement by selecting a fair and just former prosecutor and attorney general as his Vice President. Kamala Harris understands the needs — and the complexities — of modern law enforcement and will work closely with President Biden to restore faith in those who are sworn to protect all of us.

Signed,
Jeff Modisett, IN Attorney General, 1997–2000
Grant Woods, AZ Attorney General, 1991–99
Robert Abrams, NY Attorney General, 1979–93
Jeff Amestoy, VT Attorney General, 1985–97
Doug Bailey, AK Attorney General, 1989–91
Thurbert Baker, GA Attorney General, 1997–2010
Paul Bardacke, NM Attorney General, 1983–86
William J. Baxley, AL Attorney General, 1971–79
Senator Richard Blumenthal, CT Attorney General, 1991–2011
Bruce Botelho, AK Attorney General, 1994–2002
Margery Bronster, HI Attorney General, 1995–99
Governor Steve Bullock, MT Attorney General, 2009–13
Senator Roland Burris, IL Attorney General, 1991–95
Bob Butterworth, FL Attorney General, 1987–2002
Bonnie J. Campbell, IA Attorney General, 1991–95
Pamela Carter, IN Attorney General, 1992–96
Rep. Ben Chandler, KY Attorney General, 1996–2004
Doug Chin, HI Attorney General, 2018
Steve Clark, AR Attorney General, 1979–90
Martha Coakley, MA Attorney General, 2007–15
Mike Cody, TN Attorney General, 1984–88
Walter Cohen, PA Attorney General, 1995
Jack Conway, KY Attorney General, 2008–16
Frederick D. Cooke, Jr., DC Attorney General (then Corp. Counsel), 1987–90
Robert Cooper, TN Attorney General, 2006–14
Richard Cordray, OH Attorney General, 2009–11
J. Joseph Curran, Jr., MD Attorney General, 1987–2006
Michael A. Delaney, NH Attorney General, 2009–13
Frankie Sue del Papa, NV Attorney General, 1991–2003
Matthew Denn, DE Attorney General, 2015–19
M. Jerome Diamond, VT Attorney General, 1975–81
Governor Mike Easley, NC Attorney General, 1993–2001
Rufus Edmisten, NC Attorney General, 1974–84
Drew Edmondson, OK Attorney General, 1995–2011
Lee Fisher, OH Attorney General, 1991–95
Joseph A. Foster, NH Attorney General, 2013–17
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, IN Attorney General, 2000–01
Steven F. Freudenthal, WY Attorney General, 1981–82
Douglas Gansler, MD Attorney General, 2007–15
Terry Goddard, AZ Attorney General, 2003–11
Chris Gorman, KY Attorney General, 1992–96
Jan Graham, UT Attorney General, 1993–2000
Governor Jennifer Granholm, MI Attorney General, 1999–2003
Governor Christine Gregoire, WA Attorney General, 1993–2005
Scott Harshbarger, MA Attorney General, 1991–99
Neil Hartigan, IL Attorney General, 1983–91
Peter C. Harvey, NJ Attorney General, 2003–06
Mike Hatch, MN Attorney General, 1999–2007
Senator Heidi Heitkamp, ND Attorney General, 1993–2001
Jim Hood, MS Attorney General, 2004–20
Hubert H. Humphrey III, MN Attorney General, 1982–98
Richard Ieyoub, LA Attorney General, 1992–2003
George Jepsen, CT Attorney General, 2011–19
Jim Jones, ID Attorney General, 1983–91
Governor James Doyle, WI Attorney General, 1991–2003
Drew Ketterer, ME Attorney General, 1995–2001
Peter Kilmartin, RI Attorney General, 2011–19
Gary King, NM Attorney General, 2007–15
G. Oliver Koppell, NY Attorney General, 1994
Governor Ted Kulongoski, OR Attorney General, 1993–97
Senator Joseph Lieberman, CT Attorney General, 1983–89
Jahna Lindemuth, AK Attorney General, 2016–18
Bill Lockyer, CA Attorney General, 1999–2007
David Louie, HI Attorney General, 2011–14
Dustin McDaniel, AR Attorney General, 2007–15
Lisa Madigan, IL Attorney General, 2003–19
Patricia Madrid, NM Attorney General, 1998–2006
Robert Marks, HI Attorney General, 1992–95
V. Frank Mendicino, WY Attorney General, 1975–78
Anne Milgram, NJ Attorney General, 2007–10
Attorney General Tom Miller, IA Attorney General, 1979–91
Vice President Walter Mondale, MN Attorney General, 1960–64
Mike Moore, MS Attorney General, 1987–2003
Governor Janet Napolitano, AZ Attorney General, 1999–2003
Irving B. Nathan, DC Attorney General, 2011–15
Charlie Oberly III, DE Attorney General, 1983–95
Tony Park, ID Attorney General, 1971-75
Jeff Pine, RI Attorney General, 1993–99
Edwin Lloyd Pittman, MS Attorney General, 1984–88
Warren Price, HI Attorney General, 1986–92

Senator Mark L. Pryor, AR Attorney General, 1999–2003
Clarine Nardi Riddle, CT Attorney General, 1989–91
Hector Reichard, PR Attorney General, 1981–83
Thomas Reilly, MA Attorney General, 1999–2007
Nancy H. Rogers, OH Attorney General, 2008–09
Stephen Rosenthal, VA Attorney General, 1993–94
Senator Ken Salazar, CO Attorney General, 1999–2005
Luis Sanchez-Betances, PR Attorney General, 2013
James Shannon, MA Attorney General, 1987–91
Mark Shurtleff, UT Attorney General, 2001–13
Governor Don Siegelman, AL Attorney General, 1987–91
Steve Six, KS Attorney General, 2008–11
Rosalie Simmonds Ballentine, USVI Attorney General, 1990–95
Gregory Smith, NH Attorney General, 1980–84
Bill Sorrell, VT Attorney General, 1997–2017
Robert J. Spagnoletti, DC Attorney General, 2003–06
Lori Swanson, MN Attorney General, 2007–19
Mary Sue Terry, VA Attorney General, 1986–93
Lacy Thornburg, NC Attorney General, 1985–93
James Tierney, ME Attorney General, 1980–90
Anthony F. Troy, VA Attorney General, 1977–78
Governor Jim Guy Tucker, AR Attorney General 1972–76
Michael C. Turpen, OK Attorney General, 1983–87
Senator Tom Udall, NM Attorney General, 1991–98
John Knox Walkup, TN Attorney General, 1997–99
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, RI Attorney General, 1999–2003
James Zazzali, NJ Attorney General, 1981–82
Greg Zoeller, IN Attorney General, 2009–17

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