President Donald Trump signed an executive order at the White House on Tuesday to improve policing standards after the George Floyd protests.
“What’s needed now is not more stoking of more fear and division, we need to bring law enforcement and communities closer together,” Trump said at the signing ceremony in the Rose Garden on Tuesday.
The president acknowledged the pain felt by black communities after meeting privately at the White House with families of Americans killed by law enforcement — Botham Jean, Ahmaud Arbery, Antwon Rose, Atatiana Jefferson, and Darius Tarver.
“Your loved ones will not have died in vain,” Trump said to the families. “We’re one nation, we grieve together and we heal together. I can never imagine your pain or the depth of your anguish. I can promise to fight for justice for all of our people.”
The president also stood with police officers and members of law enforcement, recalling their acts of heroism to protect the American people and the lives lost in the process.
“Americans know the truth,” Trump said. “Without police, there is chaos; without law, there is anarchy; and without safety, there is catastrophe.”
The president strongly opposed calls from the left to defund police departments, noting that reducing crime and raising police enforcement standards were “not opposite goals”
“We have to find common ground, but I strongly oppose the radical and dangerous efforts to defund, dismantle, and dissolve our police departments,” he said.
Trump said that Democrats did nothing to fix the problems between police officers and communities during their eight years of President Barack Obama.
“President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their 8 year period… We have to break old patterns of failure,” he said.
The presidents of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association were present for the executive order signing, as well as the executive director of the International Union of Police Associations.
Under the executive order, the Department of Justice offers incentives for police departments meeting modernized enforcement standards set by independent organizations.
Trump said that the standards would include a ban on chokeholds with an exception of when an officer’s life was in danger.
The Department of Justice will also create a database tracking police officers who repeatedly violate excessive force guidelines, forcing local departments to report to the system in order to receive federal grants.
The order also requires the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to offer resources and training to help police in cases of mental illnesses, addiction, and homelessness.
Trump maintained that only a few police officers in the country had real problems that he was trying to eliminate, countering the leftist narrative that the police had become “systemically racist.”
“They are very tiny, a very small percentage, but you have them, but nobody wants to get rid of them more than the overwhelming number of really good and great police officers,” he said.