US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order introducing several reforms in U.S. police force
while rejecting calls to defund or dismantle the police, the order limits granting certain funding to only those law enforcement agencies that meet high standards, including around use-of-force and de-escalation, as credentialed by reputable independent bodies.
The reforms come in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality that recently claimed the lives of black men George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.
Floyd died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white police officer in Minneapolis for more than 8 minutes. Derek Chauvin, 44, was fired from service and charged with murder. Three other police officers involved in the brutal incident also were fired but they were charged with lesser crimes.
Brooks died last Friday after suffering two gunshot wounds to his back as a white Atlanta police officer shot him while resisting arrest.
Floyd’s death has sparked outrage and protests in Minneapolis and across the United States, prompting several city authorities to declare curfew.
Minneapolis City Council decided to dismantle the city’s police forces entirely in the aftermath of Floyd’s death. The Black Lives Matter movement and activists made calls to “Defund the police.”
The executive order aims to provide incentives for police departments to improve by tying some federal grants to “best practices”.
The Order provides incentives for law enforcement agencies to use a nationwide database to track terminations, criminal convictions, and civil judgments against law enforcement officers for excessive use-of-force, which will create accountability between agencies.
Trump is directing his Administration to draft new legislation to “to further the policies of the Order and build community engagement”, the White House said in a statement
Speaking after signing the order, flanked by law enforcement officers, Trump defended police while condemning looters and “anarchy”.
Last year alone, 89 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty, he noted.
In his opinion, in many cases, local law enforcement is “underfunded, understaffed, and undersupported”.
“Despite our very good record on crime, law and order must be further restored nationwide”, he added.
Trump warned that the penalty for those who get caught for looting or arson will be “very grave”.
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