President Trump signed an executive order today on law enforcement reform after delivering pointed remarks at the White House. “Thank you all for being here as we take historic action to deliver a future of safety and security for Americans of every race, religion, color and creed” Trump began. Noting that law enforcement, community leaders, and individuals with various backgrounds were in attendance, Trump said we’re all “united by our desire to ensure peace and dignity and equality for all Americans.”
With the signing of the executive order, President Trump said, “chokeholds will be banned except if an officer’s life is at risk.” Trump noted he had “just concluded” a meeting with the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Antwon Rose, Jemel Roberson, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver, Cameron Lamb and Everett Palmer. “Many of these people lost their loved ones in deadly interactions with police. To all of the hurting families, I want you to know that all Americans mourn by your side. Your loved ones will not have died in vain. We are one nation. We grieve together and we heal together” Trump stated.
“I can never imagine your pain or the depth of your anguish, but I can promise to fight for justice for all of our people” Trump continued. While making it a point that he unambiguously supports the law enforcement community, Trump said “I strongly oppose the radical and dangerous efforts to defund, dismantle and dissolve our police departments. Especially now when we’ve achieved the lowest recorded crime rates in recent history.”
“Without police there is chaos, without law there is anarchy and without safety there is a catastrophe,” said Trump. The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is the largest law enforcement union in the United States, and applauded the President. “It 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,” said the organization.
The union’s organization went on: “in our view, President Trump and congressional leaders are working constructively with law enforcement and community stakeholders to undertake earnest law enforcement reforms that will make our officers and the public they protect safer.”
Trump’s order announced that the “Department of Justice would provide grants to police departments seeking independent credentialing for use of force and de-escalation training that holds them to high standards and that the federal government would provide funding for ‘co-responders’ like social workers to help police officers deal with issues like homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse,” Fox News reported.
Additionally, departments will be able to secure “less-than-lethal weapons that can help reduce the number of fatal encounters with police, and mandate that departments share information on officers who are accused of abusing power ‘ so that officers with credible issues do not simply move from one police department to the next.”