The executive order will mark the start of the White House’s efforts to deal with the excessive use of force by police. According to media reports, it will order the creation of a system tracking the misconduct of specific officers and lay out methods to incentivise police departments to use social workers and mental health professionals.
US President Donald Trump has announced the signing of an executive order that will oversee the introduction of a police reform bill. The bill seeks to prevent a repeat of events like the recent killing of African-American man George Floyd and to address the mounting criticism against the perceived excessive use of force by some police departments.
Among the measures proposed in Trump's bill is a much-requested ban on the use of chokeholds by police unless an officer's life is in danger. POTUS also announced that efforts will be made to develop new advanced and less lethal weapons for police to prevent fatal "interactions".
The bill also suggests introducing federal grants for police departments that uphold high standards in certifying their officers and invest heavily in training them in de-escalation techniques. Trump argued that instead of giving in to the demands of "radicals" to defund and dismantle the police, the US will instead be supporting the "brave men and women in blue" while resolving the current issues.
We will prioritize federal grants from the Department of Justice to police departments [which] seek independent credentialing and certifying that they meet high standards and in fact in certain cases the highest standards [...] on the use of force and de-escalation", Trump said.
Apart from this, the reform promotes the idea of creating a federal database that would track the history of abuse of every police officer. Trump explained that it would prevent abusive officers from simply moving between police departments after each incident.
In line with earlier media reports, Trump's reform also incentivises police departments to resort to using social workers as co-responders in some situations, such as in cases of substance abuse. Departments using such workers will be further subsidised by the government following the reform.
Trump's proposed reform ignores the key demand of the Black Lives Matter protesters to "defund" the police, but goes in line with some suggestions previously raised by Democratic lawmakers. The demands were spurred following demonstrations against police brutality and negligence towards the lives of black people. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who died while being held in chokehold by a Minneapolis police officer.
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