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Trump’s Executive Order on Police Reform Is a Tepid Response to a National Crisis

Trump spoke from the Rose Garden, surrounded by mostly white law enforcement officials.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 05: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bill singing ceremony with his economic team in the Rose Garden at the White House June 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. In the midst of nationwide protests against the death of George Floyd, the U.S. Labor Department announced the unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, a surprising improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After weeks of protests and international outrage, Donald Trump has issued an executive order in response to police brutality. But in classic Trump fashion, the order is a weak and inadequate response that fails to actually accomplish anything. Trump discussed the order during a press conference in the Rose Garden, where he was flanked by a cadre of mostly white law enforcement officials.

Trump said that he had met privately with and talked to the victims’ families, but they weren’t invited to the signing I guess? The executive order includes plans to establish a national certification system for law enforcement, as well as a national database to track excessive use of force. The plan also incentivizes police departments to ban chokeholds, except when an officer’s life is at risk, which is not a ban at all.

Trump’s rambling speech made it clear where his allegiances lie, as he spoke in support of law enforcement departments and described the number of violent cops as “They’re very tiny, … I use the word tiny. It’s a very small percentage. But nobody wants to get rid of them more than the really good and great police officers.”

Trump, who considers himself a law and order president, said “Americans want law and order. They demand law and order, … Some of them may not even know that is what they want.” But one of his biggest talking points is now coming back to bite him, as the tide of public opinion has shifted drastically in light of George Floyd’s murder. Trump now has to decide whether to double down with his core base or try to unify the country.

But how does a president whose brand is divisiveness and anger pivot to unity? Ultimately he can’t, and if the current polling is anything to go by, he’s never been more unpopular.

And because no Trump speech would be complete without some aimless rambling, the president attacked Barack Obama and Joe Biden on police reform, praised the stock market, and mentioned a vaccine for AIDS that does not exist. You know, business as usual.

Many people took to Twitter to call out Trump and his weak response:

(via The Guardian, image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, son, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.