Trump uses police reform event to lavish praise on police

Modesto Morganelli
Июня 16, 2020

(CNN)President Donald Trump takes his first concrete steps on Tuesday to address growing national outcry over police brutality when he signs an executive order creating a federal database of police officers with a history of using excessive force.

Trump's decision to ban chokeholds appears similar to the ban included in the Democratic legislation, known as the Justice in Policing Act.

In his public comments and on Twitter, Mr Trump has called for crackdowns on protesters and emphasised a forceful and militarised response to the social unrest sparked by the deaths of Mr Floyd and others. Neither bill goes as far as some activists want in their push to "defund the police" by fully revamping departments.

"I strongly oppose" the "radical" effort to dismantle and disband police forces, Trump said at the signing event.

"Yesterday I had an hour-long meeting with the Fraternal Order of Police, and they are very supportive of the idea of national standards and significant training", she said.

"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.

Trump also said the shooting by police of a black man in Atlanta was very disturbing.

President Trump plans to sign an executive order Tuesday calling for higher standards for how local police are hired and trained, but it's unclear whether his directives can or will be enforced. "You should be accredited to be a police officer".

Titled "Safe Policing for Safe Communities", the executive order that the president signed following his remarks focused on three areas: better police training, the creation of a database to make sure fired officers with numerous complaints against them are not rehired by other departments, and a call for more resources for co-responders on police calls involving mental health and substance abuse problems.

"This executive order is a woeful attempt to shift focus from the risky rhetoric and policies he has previously promoted". Trump met with families of several people who died in encounters with police, including Ahmaud Arbery of Georgia, who was shot and killed by a white resident as he jogged through a neighborhood earlier this year. Yet none of those family members joined the representatives of police organizations who attended the Rose Garden signing along with Republican lawmakers and Cabinet members.

The president said he gave the families a commitment to work toward reform, referencing Sen. "We need to bring law enforcement and communities closer together, not to drive them apart", Trump said.

President Trump offered his clearest endorsement of efforts to seek legislative reform, beyond his executive order. He veered off into topics like his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, job gains realized before the virus swept across America, school choice (which he singled out as the greatest civil rights issue of "all time") and new retail sales figures.

Trump was due to sign what he said would be a "pretty comprehensive" executive order in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House, with an emphasis on better training for police officers in their increasingly complex - and at times highly unsafe - job. He said the nation doesn't need "more stoking of fears and division". An Atlanta police officer was sacked and the police chief resigned after the killing of Rayshard Brooks on Friday night. The task force issued detailed recommendations on how to improve policing, but they were not mandatory.

On Monday, the president told reporters the order would help preserve "law and order", and "justice" and "safety".

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