Trump announces he will sign an executive order to reform police protocol

Amid the massive protests against police brutality, Donald Trump has announced that on Tuesday he will sign an executive order to try to restrict the use of excessive force by officers.

Senior Administration officials said last Monday that the measures include federal grants to departments that comply with good practices, a database of police officers who commit offenses, and collaborative work with social workers to deal non-violently with drug addicts and homeless. Apparently, the order does not consider removing neck restraints, a proposal defended by Democrats.

The Trump administration has been under pressure over racist police behavior since George Floyd died three weeks ago at the hands of a white officer who pressed his knee to the African American’s neck for almost nine minutes, as he claimed he was unable to breathe.

So far the president has focused his response on the episodes of violence that have been seen in some demonstrations, continuously repeating that “law and order” must be imposed. After another African-American was shot to death by police in Atlanta this weekend, a “very disturbing” fact, according to the president, the tension has been mounting and the need for concrete action has become more urgent.

Police and relatives of people who have died at the hands of agents are expected to participate in Tuesday’s announcement. “We are not going to reduce the funds to the police,” Trump said last Monday afternoon in Dallas, referring to a demand made by some activists.

“The general objective is that we want law and order, but it is also about justice and security,” he added. The purpose of the executive order is “to have the discussion the country needs to be able to turn anger into action and hope,” a senior official told reporters.

In parallel, both Democratic and Republican congressmen are working on a package of measures to reform the police protocol. The executive order includes Democrats’ proposal to create a database where misbehaving officers are registered and that information can be shared in the event that a police officer changes departments. Although it does not include training courses on racial prejudice or requiring the compulsory use of body cameras in the federal police, as established by the Democratic bill.

“Maybe they can get something approved, and maybe they can’t,” Trump said of the Democrats’ proposals. “They have to be approved by one person and the person is me, so we will sign it tomorrow,” added the president.

The executive order provides for an accreditation process to incentivize police departments to adopt the latest practices of use of force, which would be compensated with federal grants, a senior official told local media. It also seeks to include social workers in police responses to non-violent cases.

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