President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that he said would bring greater accountability and effectiveness to policing and criminal justice, marking the second anniversary of the killing of black Minneapolis resident George Floyd by a police officer.
“It’s a measure of what we can do together to heal the soul of this country,” Biden said. “To address the profound fear and trauma, exhaustion – especially that Black Americans have experienced for generations – and a channel of private pain and public outrage into a rare marker of progress for years to come.”
The executive order creates a national database that logs police misconduct; Strives for timely, thorough and robust investigations; body camera essentials; prohibits chokeholds and carotid restraints; prohibits the use of no-knock entries by police; and sets new standards, among other things.
Executive orders are instructions that the US President uses to manage the operations of the federal government.
US lawmakers last year failed to agree on a new law aimed at police reform so the order applies only to federal agencies — something critics were quick to note and Biden acknowledged on Wednesday, when he sided with George Floyd. reiterated his call for the Senate to pass the The Justice in Police Act, which would affect state and local police departments.
“It’s mostly not a federal issue that we’re dealing with in this country,” Howard Henderson told VOA via Zoom on Wednesday. He is the founder of the Houston-based Center for Justice Research and a fellow of the Brookings Institution.
“Most of these issues are happening at the state and local level, mainly at the local level,” he said. “We have to start to sign Biden… today and take it to the local level because we need the most common human police interactions to be governed by the same kinds of rules to reduce negative behavior. “
A website run by the decentralized Black Lives Matter movement described the action as “a huge victory for organizations like BLMGNF, which have been working with the White House to help develop it since the end of 2020.” Initialism stands for Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.
“However,” the statement continued, “one of the biggest systemic factors affecting the livelihoods of black communities is the continued overhunting, cruelty and incarceration of our people. Police violence breaks our families; emotional, in our communities. Leaves logistical and financial gaps; and steals the lives of many of our loved ones before we get a chance to achieve our dreams.
“We need the next phase of the action plan to clearly address how federal agencies—authorities and departments at the local, state, and federal levels—to engage with black people,” the statement said. How will you update your policies to make it accountable?
Damon Hewitt, chairman and executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, called the order “a commendable first step in addressing a deeply unjust system.” I am hopeful that the Biden administration will continue to do this to ensure that local and state police departments reflect the reform we are seeing at the federal level. ,
The brutal, May 25, 2020 killing of Floyd resonated around the world, sparking concerns about an early pandemic and sending thousands of Americans and others into the streets to protest racist police practices.
“From Europe to the Middle East to Asia to Australia, people saw their fight for justice and equality,” Biden said.
challenges around the world
Henderson told VOA that he hopes the better practices in the US will also resonate around the world.
“From the Netherlands to South Africa, we understand the challenges we face around the world,” he said. “Police reform is necessary not only in the United States, but police reform is an international issue. And I’m pretty sure we’ll see an international response to what we saw today.”
Floyd was 46 when he was killed on the side of a road in Minneapolis in front of a crowd of onlookers who begged police officer Derek Chauvin to lift his knee from Floyd’s neck. Police responded to a call that Floyd had attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill to pay for cigarettes.
Chauvin was later convicted of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.
At the White House on Wednesday, Biden invited Floyd’s daughter Gianna to sit at the desk after signing the executive order. She quietly took her seat, her feet barely touching the floor, and silently looked at the document in front of her. She was 6 years old when her father was murdered.