President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that he said would encourage better police practices, this coming after weeks of national protests since the death of George Floyd.
Trump met privately with the families of several black Americans killed in interactions with police before his Rose Garden signing ceremony, and said he grieved for the lives lost and families devastated. He devoted most of his public remarks to a need to respect and support “the brave men and women in blue who police our streets and keep us safe,” characterizing the officers who have used excessive force as a “tiny” number of outliers among “trustworthy” police ranks.
“Reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals,” Trump said, flanked by police officials. Trump’s executive order would establish a database that tracks police officers with excessive use-of-force complaints in their records. Many officers who wind up involved in fatal incidents have long complaint histories. Those records are often not made public, making it difficult to know if an officer has such a history.
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