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Police brutality rally in New York after the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Several racial justice leaders remain skeptical of a police oversight panel being formed by the Biden transition team, and one leading Black Lives Matter activist turned down an offer to be part of it.

Why it matters: There was already an urgency for Biden to address police brutality following George Floyd's death, but there's little patience among some racial justice leaders who disagree with the way Biden still talks about policing.

Some say Biden's team delayed moving ahead with the task force because it was concerned about affecting the outcome of last week's Georgia Senate runoff elections.

  • During a December meeting with civil rights leaders, the president-elect said outside pressure around police reform could hurt Democrats because of the way the GOP used phrases like "defund the police" to "beat the living hell out of us across the country.”
  • The one Black Lives Matter activist who declined an opportunity to be involved in the nascent commission asked not to be publicly identified. A Biden transition official said that no offers have been made to any potential panel members. 

Driving the news: The siege of the U.S. Capitol last week renewed conversations about policing standards and use of force.

  • Many were quick to compare how police treated the pro-Trump mob, which was mostly white, versus Black Lives Matter demonstrators last summer.
  • The former was able to storm into the seat of the government; the latter was greeted with National Guardsmen, other federal agents and barricades.

Biden committed last June to form a national police oversight commission during the first 100 days of his presidency. He has also included systemic racism as one of the four major crises facing the country.

While some racial justice leaders disagree with Biden's rhetoric on policing and remain wary of this task force, they want to help but feel sidelined because they haven't been consulted or heard much of anything about it.

  • Black Lives Matter co-founder and Principal of Black to the Future Action Fund Alicia Garza said, “As my mentors have told me: Task forces are where good ideas go to die.”
  • Garza said leaked audio from Biden's recent meeting was "confusing in this moment.”

NAACP president Derrick Johnson told Axios he hasn't discussed the police oversight panel with Biden's team but continues to push for his own idea: appointing a racial equity czar.

  • "Every conversation I start and end with the need for it," he said, "because the urgency for this to happen is immediate."

Yes, but: Some are heartened by recent Justice Department appointments announced by Biden, saying that if Vanita Gupta — a civil rights lawyer tapped to be associate attorney general — is overseeing the panel, it will be in good hands.

Go deeper

Black Lives Matter movement nominated for 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

Protestors take part in a Black Lives Matter march outside the Parliament building in Oslo, Norway in solidarity with U.S. protests over the death of George Floyd. Photo by Stian Lysberg Solum/AFP via Getty Images

The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for compelling countries around the world to address systemic racism.

Why it matters: The BLM movement launched in 2013 following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager. The case kickstarted the international movement to address the controversial deaths of Black people, particularly at the hands of police.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children are among a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, per a statement from Christian Aid Ministries Sunday.

The latest: "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children," the Ohio-based group said. Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne on Sunday identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.