Donald Trump signs executive order restricting police use of chokeholds
Jun 18 2020
After weeks of pressure following the death of George Floyd, U.S. President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to reform police departments, calling for a ban on risky chokeholds, but he stopped well short of demands made at nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.
In an executive order Tuesday, President Trump instructed the Justice Department to grant funds to police departments certified under "credentialing bodies", which will enforce standards set by the attorney general.
Proposals for police reforms come after three weeks of nationwide protests renewed by the death in police custody of George Floyd, an African American man who died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after an officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
On a wider level, Patrick Yoes, president of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said the organization representing police "strikes a great balance between the vital need for public and officer safety, and the equally vital need for lasting, meaningful and enforceable police reform".
"Americans want law and order, they demand law and order", Trump said at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, reiterating a call that has angered protesters who have poured onto streets from NY to Los Angeles. "It wasn't a photo op", said Smith, adding that the President's "heart ached" following the death of George Floyd and other victims of police violence.
What is executive order about?
At the same time, he has been cautious about alienating police officers and law enforcement officials, who he believes are among his strongest supporters. They work together. That is why today I'm signing an executive order encouraging police departments nationwide to adopt the highest professional standards to serve their communities.
"There's also nothing on national standards on deadly use of force".
Another part would push for creating so-called co-respondent services, a system in which officers would pair with social workers when responding to nonviolent calls, especially those involving mental health concerns and drug addiction issues. However, it will be up to Congress to legislate more reforms. Republicans, meanwhile, are pushing to reduce job protections for members of law enforcement unions. The two sides also are at odds over a Democratic proposal to ban police chokeholds. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the only black Republican senator.
"Without police, there is chaos", Trump said.
Vanita Gupta, head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in a statement: "While the order takes some steps forward, it is an inadequate response to a nation demanding sweeping, bold action".
Trump again insisted only a few bad officers are responsible for the incidents that have prompted chants of "Defund the police" - a suggestion he denounced, saying Americans "demand law and order".
Kristina Roth at Amnesty International USA said the order "amounts to a Band-Aid for a bullet wound" at a time when "this moment is calling for transformational change of policing". His death sparked weeks of worldwide demonstrations against racism and police brutality.