Trump to sign executive order aimed at changing policing practices

Henrietta Strickland
June 17, 2020

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order on policing in an attempt to build trust between communities and law enforcement, following weeks of protests over the death of George Floyd.

Trump's decision to ban chokeholds appears similar to the ban included in the Democratic legislation, known as the Justice in Policing Act.

Mr Trump's move comes after more than a fortnight of anti-racism protests, which spread to more than 140 U.S. cities and at times turned violent, in the wake of Mr Floyd's death in Minneapolis. The official named police departments in Baltimore, Minneapolis, and Ferguson.

Trump also made a thinly-veiled and disapproving reference to the toppling of Confederate monuments by demonstrators in recent days.

Mr Trump reiterated that he opposed calls to "defund the police" by reimagining or even dismantling police departments. "Without law there is anarchy and without safety there is catastrophe", he said.

But Trump administration aides told Politico the executive order to be unveiled Tuesday afternoon comes after discussion with police officers, mayors, faith leaders, conservative African Americans and victims' families.

By contrast, Democrats and civil rights groups say that only full-scale rethinking of police culture, and sometimes a cut in police funding, will bring necessary change.

"Congress needs to quickly pass strong and bold legislation with provisions that makes it easier to hold police officers accountable for abuses, and President Trump must commit to signing it into law". "Every day police officers make great sacrifices to make our communities secure and safe".

His executive order encourages de-escalation training, better recruitment, sharing of data on police who have bad records, and money to support police in complicated duties related to people with mental or drug issues.

"I gave a commitment to all of those families today, with Sen".

"We have to give them great respect for what they do, for the job is one of the most risky jobs on earth", he said. "We will be pursuing it and we will be pursuing it strongly", Trump said.

President Trump offered his clearest endorsement of efforts to seek legislative reform, beyond his executive order. He noted that retail sales jumped a largest-ever 17.7% in May, calling it "a great thing, because ultimately it's about jobs".

He said he had met with family of members of several black people killed by police before signing the executive order and assured them their "loved ones will not have died in vain" though he did not invite them to the signing ceremony.

It also calls for creation of a database to track officers with histories of misconduct and uses federal grants to encourage higher certification standards.

"There will be no more looting or arson", Trump said.

New tension erupted last week after the death in Atlanta, Georgia, of Rayshard Brooks, another African American whom police say was shot in the back as he ran away from arresting officers, having grabbed one of their tasers and aimed it at them. The task force issued detailed recommendations on how to improve policing, but they were not mandatory. The two sides also are at odds over a Democratic proposal to ban police chokeholds. The slogan "law and order" has become a new pillar of his reelection campaign platform. They demand law and order. They may not be talking about it, but that's what they want. "The order sugarcoats the grave national crisis of police violence and fails to acknowledge that racism and systemic discrimination have led to the deaths of unarmed black people at alarming rates".

"Additionally we're looking at new advanced and powerful, less lethal weapons to help prevent deadly interactions", he added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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