Donald Trump signs police reform order to establish a 'bad cop database'
16 June 2020, 19:37
Donald Trump has signed an executive order on police reform in the United State which will encourage better practices and establish a database of "bad cops".
The measures also ban police officers from using chokeholds, unless in cases where their life is in immediate danger,
The database will track officers who have been accused of using excessive force in the past.
It will also give police departments a financial incentive to adopt best practices and encourage co-responder programmes, in which social workers join police when they respond to non-violent calls involving mental health, addiction and homeless issues.
President Trump and the Republicans have been rushing to respond to the mass demonstrations against police brutality and racial prejudice that have raged for weeks across the country in response to the deaths of George Floyd and other black Americans.
But after weeks of backing police forces in using heavy-handed tactics against protesters - many of them peaceful - today's order indicates Trump's Administration is backing down and listening to campaigners demands.
Making the announcement in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday, Trump stressed the need for higher standards and commiserated with mourning families.
He also hailed the vast majority of officers as selfless public servants and held his law-and-order line, using the opportunity to criticise Democrats and his predecessor Barack Obama.
But he made no mention of the growing tensions surrounding race relations between African Americans and white police officers which have become the focal point of protests around the country.
He did however say he would be working with Congress to get a bill passed to address police brutality, and took a swipe at his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
He said: "President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their eight year period.
Throughout the crisis Trump has continued to emphasise his support for law enforcement, and even on Tuesday railed against those who committed violence during the largely peaceful protests.
Trump framed his plan as an alternative to the "defund the police" movement that has emerged from the protests and which he slammed as "radical and dangerous".
"Americans know the truth: Without police there is chaos. Without law there is anarchy and without safety there is catastrophe," he said.
Trump's audience included police officials and members of Congress, and came after he met at the White House with the families of men and women who have been killed in interactions with police.
"To all of the hurting families, I want you to know that all Americans mourn by your side," he said.
"Your loved ones will not have died in vain."