Donald Trump has signed an executive order on policing but stopped short of banning chokeholds altogether. According to NBC, the new order prioritizes grants to police departments to certify that they meet specific standards. Among those standards is a ban on chokeholds, except in the event that a police officer's life is at risk.
Additionally, the outlet noted that during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden, Trump stated that the order would utilize grants to assist police departments in meeting certification standards on the use of force. The order will also offer grants to create a national database on excessive force complaints and will encourage departments to involve mental health professionals when responding to non-violent situations, such as addiction, homelessness and mental illness. A White House official told NBC News that the order is a "starting point" that is "as far as we can go at the executive level." The goal is to take action that does not restrict the ability of police in their jobs, the official stated, then claiming that Democrat lawmakers are going too far by proposing options that "would render police departments ineffective."
“To go forward, we must seek cooperation, not confrontation.
We must build upon our heritage, not tear it down.
And we must cherish the principles of America's Founding, as we strive to deliver safe, beautiful, elegant justice.”June 16, 2020
The executive order comes after weeks of civil unrest in the nation, sparked by the death of George Floyd, as well as other Black men and women killed by police, such as Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks. "All Americans mourn by your side. Your loved ones will not have died in vain," the president said in his speech. "I could never imagine your pain or the depth of your anguish, but I can promise to fight for justice for all of our people." He went on to add, "I am committed to working with Congress on additional measures. Hopefully, they will all get together and come up with a solution that goes even beyond what we're signing today."
Democrats previously unveiled a bill that would bring significant overhaul to policing. It would include a ban on chokeholds — such as the type that led to Floyd's death — as well as no-knock warrants, which was used before the fatal shooting of Taylor. Senate Republicans have also been working on a plan, with Senate Majority Leader McConnell tapping South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott — the Senate's only Black Republican — to head-up efforts on their police reform bill. However, Republican leadership is reportedly planning to wait until after the Senate's July 4 recess to take any action on the plan.