President Donald Trump this week signed “Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities,” in reaction to the police shooting of George Floyd.
“Today I’m signing an executive order encouraging police departments nationwide to adopt the highest professional standards to serve their communities,” President Trump said. “These standards will be as high and as strong as there is on earth.”
Among other things, the order bans chokeholds except in situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law and calls for training law enforcement to deploy social workers to non-violent incidents involving people with mental health impairments, homelessness, and addiction. The order prioritizes federal money to police departments retaining high-performing police officers and providing information on officers with a history of excessive force complaints.
Law enforcement officers provide the essential protection that all Americans require to raise their families and lead productive lives. The relationship between our fellow citizens and law enforcement officers is an important element in their ability to provide that protection. By working directly with their communities, law enforcement officers can help foster a safe environment where we all can prosper.
Unfortunately, there have been instances in which some officers have misused their authority, challenging the trust of the American people, with tragic consequences for individual victims, their communities, and our Nation. All Americans are entitled to live with the confidence that the law enforcement officers and agencies in their communities will live up to our Nation’s founding ideals and will protect the rights of all persons. Particularly in African-American communities, we must redouble our efforts as a Nation to swiftly address instances of misconduct.