The executive order will instruct federal law enforcement agencies to update policies for the use of their force. Prosecutors have been urging the White House to take such action since the failure of a comprehensive police-reform bill in Congress last year. The bill is named for Floyd, an unarmed black man who died below the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. He was later fired and charged with murder.
“If you had asked me six months ago, I would have said that there is still no time for an executive order because we need to focus on federal law, especially the George Floyd bill,” Damon Hewitt said. Committee of Advocates for Civil Rights under the Act. “But once that effort was thwarted, the administration stepped in as fast as possible through administrative action.”
Biden’s executive order will use federal funding to fund the judiciary, encouraging local police to tighten restrictions on the use of suffocation and knock-knock warrants – actions already taken by federal law enforcement agencies. Those familiar with the document said it would set new restrictions on the sale of military equipment to local law enforcement agencies, some of whom spoke anonymously because the order had not yet been issued.
“We think this executive order should standardize training and practice and lay the groundwork for progress in standardizing policing across the country,” said Jim Pascoe, executive director of the National Brotherhood Commission. Negotiations with the White House and the contents of the order were explained. We hope this will be a component in bridging the gaps that exist in some areas between police officers and the communities in which they work.
The White House declined to comment.
Biden, who is due to leave for Washington on Tuesday after a trip to Asia, will issue the order amid concerns that the White House has lost a sense of urgency about the rise in violent crime and police reform among civil rights groups.
He announced last September that he would take administrative action on police reform through the executive branch. After the collapse of federal law, it banned suffocation and knock-knock warrants, banned racial profiling and removed qualified immunity for police officers.
But in a country polarized by debates about race and criminal justice, negotiations on the order were rife. In January, police groups condemned a leaked draft alleging “systematic racism” in the criminal justice system.
Pasco said the final version of the order “contains references to racism.” But that is just the way it is presented. In the policy statement, significant changes were made to the phrases.
The White House does not have the authority to make some of the changes that lawyers have long demanded, that is, the removal of competent immunity protects defendants from being prosecuted individually for misconduct. Dozens of State House bills dismantling such immunity Have been defeated. Other changes, such as banning chokeholds or enforcing strict policies on when the police can use force, also require action at the state or local level.
But former New Orleans mayor Mark Moriel, now president and chief executive of the National Urban League, called the order a “very important step.”
“We recognize that this process is not easy,” Moriel said. “It simply came to our notice then. I am going to accept this first important step of the President because it is a powerful statement and it reflects what he can do with his own executive power.
Larry Cosme, president of the Association of Federal Law Enforcement Officers, said the order would have a very direct impact on the country’s 100,000 federal authorities, and that Biden’s ability to act unilaterally in policies for local and state police was limited.
But Cosme said the document could “serve as a national model for all law enforcement across the country.” We are engaged in hundreds of hours of debate, and this will inspire those in the state and local departments: ‘This is what we must do’.
He stressed that the order would include sections aimed at providing additional support to the health of officers, including mental health, officer recruitment and retention, at a time when many departments are facing low morale and staff shortages.
“No officer wants anyone to lose their life, not even the suspect or the victim,” Cosme said. “We want maximum security for everyone in the country.”
This is a growing story. It will be updated.