Washington, DC – President Donald Trump announced at a press conference on Tuesday that he was signing an executive order called “Safe Policing for Safe Communities” that would bring police and communities together “united by our desire to ensure peace, dignity, and equality for all Americans” without undermining law enforcement.
President Trump, who has condemned the video of 46-year-old George Floyd’s death, said he met with the families of unarmed African Americans who had been killed on Monday morning and made them a promise.
“Your loved ones will not have died in vain,” the President vowed.
“I can promise to fight for justice for all of our people. And I gave a commitment to all of those families today… we are going to pursue what we said – we will be pursuing it and we will be pursuing it strongly,” the President added.
President Trump touted the country’s lowest recorded crime rates in recent history and credited good police officers for improving safety in communities.
“We have to give them great respect for what they do,” he said, and called law enforcement one of the most dangerous and difficult jobs on earth.
President Trump said he would not support defunding police departments because it was the people who lived in the distressed areas who needed the police the most.
The President talked about the “tiny percentage” of bad police officers that exist nationwide.
“And nobody wants to get rid of them more than the good and really great police officers,” he said.
“We must support the brave men and women in blue and we must invest more resources in training and community engagement,” President Trump said.
“We’re going to have reform without undermining our law enforcement officers,” the President promised.
President Trump said his executive order would provide federal grants to police departments who are willing to seek independent credentialing to certify they meet the highest standards on use-of-force and de-escalation training.
He also said “choke holds will be banned except if an officer’s life is at risk.”
The President promised that his administration was working with law enforcement leadership to get new less-lethal weapons for officers to use and said that “cost is no object.”
Under the executive order, police departments will have to “share information about credible abuses so that officers with significant issues do not simply move from one police department to the next,” President Trump said.
He said the police officials that he’d meet with had expressed that they needed help to create such a database.
President Trump said his executive order also included federal funding to support police efforts with homeless, the mentally ill, and people with substance abuse problems.
He promised more sources of support for police in the form of well-trained social workers and other such resources.
President Trump called law enforcement officers “selfless” and said “police officers run straight toward this incredible harm. Take the World Trade Center. They ran straight into the Twin Towers on 9/11. Many of them never returned…”
He also talked about the bravery of officers like the ones in Dayton, Ohio who stopped an active shooter and saved numerous lives.
“There will be no more looting or arson,” the President declared, and vowed that those who were caught having done so would face the most serious punishment possible. “The looters have no cause that they’re fighting for.”
He said he would tolerate no more stoking fear and division and said the country needed to bring police and communities together, not pull them apart.
President Trump promised to work with Congress on additional police reform measures.
“We have to break old patterns of failure,” the President said.
He said that the politicians presenting themselves as the solution to the current problem are the ones who caused the problem.
“It’s an attitude and it’s not working,” President Trump said.
The President promised he was committed to “restoring, renewing, and rebuilding our communities” and would continue “fighting for equal justice and truly delivering results.”
Ahead of the announcement, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that President Trump’s executive order would be the exact opposite of the “defund the police” demands being issued by protesters, FOX News reported.
“The president will take decisive action,” Pence said. “He will sign an executive order that will set into motion new resources, new standards on the use of force, a way to be able to track when we see inappropriate use-of-force and also resources to encourage using other public officials like social workers in interaction with the public… We’re not going to defund the police, quite the contrary.”
The White House tweeted on Monday that the executive order would “help law enforcement build trust and effectively serve the community as our first line of defense here at home,” FOX News reported.