Trump Signs Policing Executive Order Aimed at Ending Chokeholds: ‘Your Loved Ones Will Not Have Died in Vain’


President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order intended to end police chokeholds and enhance accountability in law enforcement, telling the families of those recently killed by police that all Americans were “mourning by your side.”

Trump said his order, which commands the Justice Department to prioritize grants for police departments complying with his guidelines, bans police chokeholds except when an officer’s life is threatened, as well as improving how police misconduct is tracked and laying out guidelines for sending social workers with officers when they respond to calls involving mental health issues.

In a White House Rose Garden speech announcing the move, Trump said the order would institute standards “as high and as strong as there is on Earth.”

“Americans believe we must support the brave men and women in blue who police our streets and keep us safe,” he added. “Americans believe we must also increase accountability.”

He also said he met earlier in the day with relatives of several of those slain by police officers, including Ahmaud Arbery, Botham John, Antwon Rose, Jemel Roberson, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver, Cameron Lamb, and Everett Palmer.

Calling them “incredible people,” Trump said, “Your loved ones will not have died in vain.”

The order comes after weeks of protests related to George Floyd’s May 25 death in the custody of Minneapolis police. Floyd died after he was subdued for more than eight minutes by Officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three officers who accompanied Chauvin have been charged with aiding and abetting him.

Protests erupted in response to Floyd’s death and several others who have died at the hands of police, including 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks — an Atlanta native who was shot four times by police over the weekend — and 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, who was killed in her own home in March as Louisville police responded to a call about a suspected intruder.

Democrats in the House and Senate have proposed legislation that would prohibit chokeholds in addition to banning no-knock warrants and rolling back “qualified immunity” for officers. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Thursday authored his own proposal, the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act, to ban no-knock warrants. Sen. Tim Scott, (R-SC), one of the Senate’s three black members — and its only Republican — said he plans to introduce his own proposal on Wednesday, though the Senate is not expected to act until after the Fourth of July.

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