In a press conference from the Rose Garden at the White House on Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at police reform in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Among several other actions, the order requires state and local law enforcement agencies to ban the use of chokeholds except in cases where the use of deadly force is allowed by federal law.
Flanked by law enforcement officials, President Trump stated that his administration was committed to pursuing justice, but that he would stand against the rise of recent anti-policing protests.
“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,” the president stated.
“Americans know the truth. Without police there is chaos, without law there is anarchy and without safety there is catastrophe.”
In addition to banning chokeholds, the order creates a credentialing process for law enforcement agencies to receive certification from independent credentialing bodies to ensure the agencies are providing “transparent, safe and accountable delivery of law enforcement services to their communities.”
The order directs Attorney General William Barr to allocate discretionary funds from the Department of Justice only to agencies that have received or are in the process of receiving credentials from an independent body.
Additionally, the order directs Attorney General Barr to create an information sharing database for federal, state and local law enforcement to track law enforcement officers who are fired or criminally convicted for using improper or excessive force.
Lastly, the order directs the attorney general and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar to train and equip law enforcement officers on how to handle encounters with individuals who are suffering from mental illness.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., denounced the order in a statement saying, “The executive order lacks meaningful, mandatory accountability measures to end misconduct,” she said. “During this moment of national anguish, we must insist on bold change, not meekly surrender to the bare minimum.”
Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James issued a statement supporting the president’s executive order. “At a time when our country needs leadership, the Trump administration has provided a positive step forward with this executive order,” President James said. “The Heritage Foundation has long recognized that police and criminal justice reform are necessary elements in making sure that every community is safe and every citizen is able to prosper in peace.”
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Photo from The White House