Donald Trump said on Thursday he would pursue an executive order to encourage police departments to meet “current professional standards for the use of force," he also accused Democrats of broadly branding police as the problem.
Trump defended his calls on governors and mayors to aggressively take control of the protests that erupted across the country after the death of George Floyd, boasting, “We’re dominating the street with compassion."
Trump addresses race relations issues:
He offered little detail about the soon-to-be-formalised order during a discussion on race relations and policing to an audience in Dallas. The call for establishing a national use-of-force resulted in his first concrete proposal for police reform in response to the national outcry following Floyd's death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
Trump acknowledged that law enforcement may have some “bad apples," but said it is unfair to broadly paint police officers as bigots.
“We have to work together to confront bigotry and prejudice wherever they appear," Trump said. “But we’ll make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labelling tens of millions of decent Americans as racists or bigots."
He went on to say his administration would aggressively pursue economic development in minority communities, confront health care disparities by investing “substantial sums” in minority-serving medical institutions, and improve school choice options. Trump said the country needs to increase its efforts to confront its long-simmering racial relations problems by focusing on inequality, redoubling on his contention that solving economic issues is the fastest way to healing racial wounds.
Trump filled the roundtable with police union officials and allies from the African American community, including a member of Black Voices for Trump — many who spoke glowingly about the president.
Democrats on Capitol Hill have unveiled sweeping police reform legislation, including provisions to ban choke holds and limit legal protections for police. Congressional Republicans say they are also open to some reforms, including a national registry of ‘use of force’ incidents so police officers cannot transfer between departments without public awareness of their records.
Trump, for his part, lashed at some in the Democratic party who have called for “defunding the police,” a broad call to reframe thinking about how communities should approach public safety.
“Unfortunately there’s some trying to stoke division and to push an extreme agenda, which we won’t go for, that will produce only more poverty, more crime, more suffering,” Trump said.
Glenn Heights, Texas, Police Chief Vernell Dooley urged Trump to increase resources to provide police with more training. “We need training,” Dooley said. "This is not the time to defund police departments.”
Activists say it isn’t about eliminating police departments or stripping agencies of all their money. They say it is time for the country to address systemic problems in policing in America and spend more on other things communities across the U.S. need, like housing and education.
Source: News 18