Though the Democratic Party, including Biden himself, have very mixed records when it comes to criminal justice and policing policies, the political reality remains that the best way to get meaningful federal police reforms passed is for Democrats to keep the White House and gain seats in Congress in 2024. With Donald Trump facing growing legal trouble and other Republican candidates far behind, Biden winning reelection seems achievable, though far from certain. And while Democrats did better than expected in 2022, regaining the House and holding onto the Senate could be challenging. However, even a gain of a few seats for Democrats could end up greatly improving the changes of police reform. Democrats in the House passed the George Floyd Act when they controlled that chamber in 2020 and 20201, and they could retake control if they pick up a few seats. In the Senate, 50 votes plus Vice President Harris’ tie-breaker could, through a somewhat complicated process, eliminate or alter the filibuster to stop Republicans from blocking reform, and Democrats recently fell only two votes short.
The 2024 election is set to be a very important election that will be hard-fought by both parties. For those still holding out hope that meaningful police reform and accountability measures will be passed in the name of George Floyd, 2024 may be the last shot for this to happen.