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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