Two years after the killing of African American George Floyd by a white police officer in a Minneapolis street, President Joe Biden will sign an executive order regulating federal law enforcement on Wednesday.
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The White House called the move “historic” in a press release, but the new executive order does not go as far as the major police reform that Biden promised during his election campaign.
The administration said the text provides for the creation of a national register listing all reports, disciplinary procedures and complaints relating to members of federal law enforcement agencies.
US state and local authorities, endowed with broad powers in matters of law enforcement, would also be “encouraged” to join the register, and be able to consult it.
This order again prohibits the use of carotid artery strangulation or compression techniques at the federal level, except in exceptional circumstances.
It also limits law enforcement’s ability to enter property without warning, a controversial policy known as “no knock”.
The Biden administration will also ask federal law enforcement agencies to expand the use of body cameras during arrests and searches and to release images quickly in the event of a fatality.
The decree also states that lethal force should be used only when “necessary” and prohibits the use of military equipment during police operations.
The signing date is highly symbolic, coming just two years after Floyd’s death, which triggered massive nationwide demonstrations against racism and police brutality.
A senior White House official said Biden would sign the executive order in the presence of Floyd’s family members, the families of other victims of police brutality and law enforcement officers.
Floyd died of suffocation after a police officer pressed his knee to his neck for more than nine minutes.
Biden had promised intensive police reform on the campaign trail.
While the executive order allows him to circumvent the problem of a bill working through Congress where his Democratic Party does not have a substantial majority, it has a limited scope and would only apply at the federal level, preventing racism and Violence to the dismay of groups battling the police.
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