President Donald Trump signed an executive order on policing Tuesday


President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday on policing, which he claims will encourage better police practices and improve relations between cops and citizens, according to AP News. The new order, called the Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities, would create federal incentives through the Justice Department for local police departments that strive for “independent credentialing” to certify that officers are meeting higher standards for the use of force and de-escalation training (Politico). Trump noted that these standards would ban the use of chokeholds “except if an officer’s life is at risk,” a controversial tactic that has led to the high-profile deaths of multiple black men. Trump’s order would also incentivize local departments to hire experts in mental health, addiction, and homelessness as “co-responders” to “help officers manage these complex encounters.” The order would also form a federal database that can be shared with law enforcement agencies to more easily track officers with “credible abuses”, an effort to prevent these cops from moving to different departments. ~

The executive order follows weeks of national protests following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer earlier this month. Before the signing ceremony, Trump met privately with the families of several black Americans who have been killed in interactions with police and said he grieved for the lives lost and devastated families. Many of his public remarks centered around a need to respect and support “the brave men and women in blue who police our streets and keep us safe.” Before signing the order, he claimed that “reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals.” ~

The president’s action quickly drew criticism from activists for systemic reform for not going far enough and for a lack of structure. They claim that the vast majority of law enforcement decisions are made at the state and local levels, and Trump‘s order aims only to incentivize local departments by stipulating that only departments that adopt his reforms might be eligible for discretionary grants from the Justice Department. ~

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