In a statement released after President Donald Trump signed his executive a Order aimed at police reform, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) slammed it for not doing enough to address the counter s and demands of Americans beleaguered by police brutality, over-policy and abuse of power in their communities at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve.
Trump signed the order Tuesday, June 16, surrounded by law enforcement.
“The President’s Executive Order falls woefully short of the long overdue demands for accountability and transparency in our police departments,” the CBC said in a statement. “During the announcement today, the President claimed the Executive Order would set standards “as high and as strong as there is on Earth” on the use of force, and that he would prioritize federal grants to police departments that met those standards, yet this order excludes a ban on chokeholds, which killed Eric Gardner and George Floyd.”
If Pres. Trump needs an example of what real police reform looks like, Caucus members would likely suggest he take a look at the Justice in Police Act, which was unveiled last week. The House Judiciary Committee is set to debate the proposed legislation, renamed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Proponents of the measure describe it as a “first-ever bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and build trust between law enforcement and our communities.”
The CBC’s statement continues:
“The Justice in Policing Act is calling for real reform including banning chokeholds, banning the no knock warrant, limiting the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement, requiring body cameras, reinvesting in our communities by supporting critical community-based programs to change the culture of law enforcement and empowering our communities, makes lynching a federal crime, and creates a nationwide police misconduct registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave one agency, from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability and much more. These are just some of the provisions of the new bill.
President Trump continues to dismiss the needs of Black America and the importance of effectively dismantling institutions of systemic racism. To him, it doesn’t exist. COVID-19 continues to severely impact Black America and when the CBC demanded for the racial data on coronavirus cases, the Trump Administration refused to release the comprehensive data. He chose Tulsa, Oklahoma, the city where the worst act of racial violence was committed when Black Wall Street was burned down by white supremacists, as the location to kick off his re-election campaign rally. Black Wall Street in Tulsa was a thriving and established Black community that consisted of Black owned businesses and over 1,200 homes occupied by Black families. The rally was also originally scheduled for Juneteenth – the day African Americans celebrate emancipation. President Trump only decided to change the date of his rally to the 20th after extensive backlash.
At a time when communities across the world are joining the American people in solidarity to call for change, President Trump has opted for fake reforms that will not change anything. America needs the Justice in Policing Act because it calls for real reform and will ensure police officers are held accountable. It also provides an opportunity to reimagine what just and equitable policing looks like and begin the process of rebuilding.”