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.
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:
Trump signs executive order on police reforms, stands for photo op with a bunch of WHITE MEN. Then departs Rose Garden without taking questions, after delivering a effin campaign speech !!#TrumpPressConference pic.twitter.com/ERZuky1PGW
— anache (@anachech) June 16, 2020
Speaking in the Rose Garden, Trump says that “President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their eight-year period.”
Actually, they did, and Trump’s Justice Department undid just about every Obama-era reform.https://t.co/asEfCD2kH7
— Cameron Peters (@jcameronpeters) June 16, 2020
In Trump’s event at the Rose Garden today, where he is signing an executive order, has no social distancing and no black people.
— United for the People 🥁 (@people4kam) June 16, 2020
President Trump just said school choice is the “civil rights statement of the year, of the decade and probably beyond.” He also said school choice is the “civil rights of all time in this country.”
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) June 16, 2020
Trump’s executive order on policing is nothing but window dressing, a stunt for his failing campaign.
A ban on chokeholds with exceptions isn’t a ban on chokeholds.
A voluntary misconduct dababase is powerless.
More training won’t increase accountability.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 16, 2020
Breaking: Trump just cured AIDS
— Randy Rainbow (@RandyRainbow) June 16, 2020
Trump says “President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their eight-year period.”
Obama‘s task force set 59 proposals for police reform and appointed attorneys general who set up consent decrees with police departments, then undermined by Trump. pic.twitter.com/iS407eRlxf
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 16, 2020
The Executive Order does nothing. He will not pivot from institutionally backed racism. It’s his thing.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) June 16, 2020
For those of you who missed the president’s executive order on police reform…you didn’t miss a thing. It was utterly meaningless. An empty nothingburger of a non-event served up on a word salad of nonsense flavored with racism and ignorance.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) June 16, 2020
(via The Guardian, image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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