Things That Matter

President Trump’s Executive Order Is A Hollow Gesture That Supports Current Policing Practices

President Donald Trump made a big deal about signing an executive order to address the current demands for police reform. What he delivered was a piece of paper with no merit and a full-throated defense of the police.

President Donald Trump signed his police reform executive order and there is no real reform.

Trump’s executive order incentivizes local and state police departments to do better with their policing practices. The wording in the executive order offers police department discretionary grants from the Department of Justice to pursue and implement independent credentialing.

According to the order, police departments would be eligible for the discretionary fund must create a database that reports police complaints of excessive force.

“The database described in subsection (a) of this section shall include a mechanism to track, as permissible, terminations or de-certifications of law enforcement officers, criminal convictions of law enforcement officers for on-duty conduct, and civil judgments against law enforcement officers for improper use of force,” reads the order. “The database described in subsection (a) of this section shall account for instances where a law enforcement officer resigns or retires while under active investigation related to the use of force.  The Attorney General shall take appropriate steps to ensure that the information in the database consists only of instances in which law enforcement officers were afforded fair process.”

However, the data from the database will periodically be made available to the public but it will be anonymous. Americans will have access to the data but not to the extent protesters are demanding. It allows for police officers accused of police brutality to continue to live in secret.

Critics of the executive order say that it does not go far enough in addressing the issue at hand of improper and deadly police behavior.

“The President’s weak Executive Order falls sadly and seriously short of what is required to combat the epidemic of racial injustice and police brutality that is murdering hundreds of Black Americans,” reads Nancy Pelosi’s response. “The Executive Order lacks meaningful, mandatory accountability measures to end misconduct.  During this moment of national anguish, we must insist on bold change, not meekly surrender to the bare minimum.”

The executive order doesn’t compel local and state law enforcement to change their practices. Rather, the order reads as a suggestion offering things that can be done without any real power behind it.

“The State or local law enforcement agency’s use-of-force policies prohibit the use of chokeholds — a physical maneuver that restricts an individual’s ability to breathe for the purposes of incapacitation — except in those situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law,” reads a part of the executive order.

The executive order uses some of the keywords in demands made by protesters. Yet, the wording is leaving a lot of room for interpretation. Namely, the wording about the chokehold ban.

Visually, people are stunned at the people surrounding Trump at the Rose Garden when he addressed the order.

Trump claimed to have met with the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Antwon Rose, Jemel Roberson, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver, Cameron Lamb, and Everett Palmer. However, they were not in the crowd or behind the podium with Trump during the address.

According to CNN, the crowd of people at the address were representatives of police and law enforcement unions.

One thing absent from the order is anything to address police qualified immunity.

The topic of qualified immunity has intensified in recent days. Qualified immunity is what protects police officers from being sued by the victims or victims’ families impacted by police brutality. As it stands, police officers are protected from civil repercussions tied to police brutality.

READ: This Is What Protesters Actually Mean When They’re Calling For Cities To ‘Defund The Police’

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Naomi Osaka’s Display Of Support For Black Lives Matter Was The Biggest Win At The U.S. Open… Other Than Her Big Win

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Naomi Osaka’s Display Of Support For Black Lives Matter Was The Biggest Win At The U.S. Open… Other Than Her Big Win

Al Bello / Getty

After taking home a massive victory at Saturday’s U.S. Open, tennis star Naomi Osaka cemented her status as the reigning women’s tennis champion of the year. Her victory against Belarusian tennis play Victoria Azarenka meant she took home her third Grand Slam title in just three years. But the biggest part of Osaka’s win was the powerful statement she decided to make in every match leading up to it.

The 22-year-old walked into the Arthur Ashe Stadium each day using her platform to remind the world of racial injustice.

For each of her matches, the tennis star wore masks emblazoned with the names of Black victims of police violence.

For her final match, Osaka arrived with a mask with Tamir Rice’s name. Rice was a 12-year-old boy who was murdered by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann in 2014. At the time of his murder, Rice had been carrying a replica toy gun and had been shot by Loehmann almost as soon as the officer arrived at the scene he’d been called to. Reports notes that the caller claimed that a male was pointing “a pistol” at random people but also noted that it was “probably fake.”

Osaka used her platform to also honor Black victims such as Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and Ahmaud Arbery.

Breonna Taylor was a Black woman who lost her life after being fatally shot by police in March while she was sleeping in her home. Elijah McClain was killed by police in August 2019 after being put in a chokehold. Ahmaud Arbery was killed while on a jog in February. Osaka also wore the names of Trayvon Martin and Philando Castille. At the time Martin’s death in 2012, he was just 17-years old. Castille was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in 2016.

“I feel like I’m a vessel at this point in order to spread awareness,” Osaka noted to ESPNW after her quarter-final win earlier last week. At the time, Osaka sported a mask bearing George Floyd’s name. Floyd’s murder in May, sparked protests across the country.

In seeing Osaka’s dedication to his son, Ahmaud Arbery’s father Marcus Arbery, Sr. told Osaka in a video message, “God bless you for what you’re doing.” Osaka later remarked in a tweet that after watching the video messages she “cried so much. The strength and the character both of these parents have is beyond me.”

After being asked about the intention behind the masks and what message she was intending to get a cross in a post-match interview, Osaka asked “Well, what was the message you got?… I feel like the point is to make people start talking.”

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Jacob Blake Sends A Powerful Message To His Supporters And It’s One That We All Need To Hear

Things That Matter

Jacob Blake Sends A Powerful Message To His Supporters And It’s One That We All Need To Hear

@attorneycrump / Twitter

As protests over the shootings and deaths of Black Americans continue to take place across the country, one survivor of police violence is speaking out.

Jacob Blake, who was shot by police in the back seven times, is now paralyzed from the waist down. However, despite his heartbreaking story, he is using his voice to speak out amidst the violence and is offering an uplifting and encouraging message to those who are supporting him.

Despite being in extreme pain – which he details in the video – Blake appears to be in good spirits and hopes to help create change with his story of survival.

Jacob Blake is speaking out from his hospital bed where he lies paralyzed from the waist down — and his message is simple.

A video was posted this weekend by Blake’s family attorney, Ben Crump, which appears to have been filmed by a friend of his named Mike. It shows Jacob lying in his hospital gown and addressing the camera — sharp, alert and precise with his words.

He tells anybody who might not be living right to turn things around, as he assures them they don’t wanna end up like him, with unbearable pain, which he documents in great detail. He also addresses the African-American community at large — and it’s very uplifting.

Blake also spoke of the pain he was suffering. “Every 24 hours it’s pain, nothing but pain. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side to side, it hurts to eat,” he said.

“Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this,” he said, clicking his fingers.

“Stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there’s so much time that’s been wasted,” he added.

Blake is paralyzed from the waist down after a white police officer shot him in the back, seven times.

A white police officer shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times while trying to arrest him, as he tried to get into a car. The shooting happened just inches away from his children, who watched what happened in horror.

Blake was not armed when he was shot and the footage of the incident paints a damning picture of police brutality.

Videos of the shooting, which were uploaded online, sparked a series of protests in Kenosha, which turned violent at points. Two protesters were killed amid widespread looting and vandalism. A 17-year-old has been charged over the deaths. 

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have since visited the city. Mr. Biden spoke over the phone with Mr Blake and met his relatives. He has called for the officer who shot him in the back to be arrested.

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