Wednesday marked the second anniversary of the death of George Floyd while being arrested by Minneapolis police officers — an incident that sparked nationwide protests and riots during the summer of 2020 and prompted Democratic demands for law enforcement reforms.
Congress has been unable to reach a bipartisan consensus on such reforms, so President Joe Biden just signed an executive order to implement the Democratic proposals at the federal level, the Washington Examiner reported.
And, while doing so, the president who is supposedly focused on unifying the nation took repeated shots at Republicans for not unquestioningly falling in line in agreement and support of the highly partisan and dubiously effective proposed reforms.
Imposing limits on police and taking shots at GOP
The Examiner noted that the executive order signed by President Biden, in essence, simply lifted and used certain provisions from stalled Democratic legislation known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Biden’s order will set new federal standards for the recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention of law enforcement officers, establish a national “accountability database” on police misconduct, increase scrutiny of “use-of-force” incidents, ban chokeholds and other restraints, limit “no-knock” warrants and use of military equipment, mandate body cameras, and incentivize state and local law enforcement agencies to adopt all of the same new standards.
During his remarks at the signing ceremony, Biden insisted that these reforms would increase public trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, particularly minority communities.
About the legislation from which much of his executive order originated, Biden said, “The House passed a strong bill. It failed in the Senate where our Republican colleagues opposed any meaningful reform.”
Earlier in that event, Vice President Kamala Harris also mentioned the stalled bill and said, “Senate Republicans rejected the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. They walked away from their moral obligation to address what caused millions of Americans to march in the streets: the critical need that a coalition of Americans were demanding, were pleading for, in terms of reform and accountability.”
Anti-police narrative bolstered
Before the signing ceremony, President Biden tweeted, “I’ve called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, but Senate Republicans have stood in the way of progress. That’s why this afternoon, I’m taking action and signing an Executive Order that delivers the most significant police reform in decades.”
Later Wednesday evening, he took to Twitter again with a brief thread highlighting certain reforms in his order, including the accountability database and the restrictions imposed on how officers may deal with suspects, while again emphasizing the goal of bolstering public trust in communities.
The Examiner noted, however, that Biden’s move to essentially limit law enforcement activities comes amid a surge of crime in cities across the nation and as Democrats are still attempting to shake off the anti-cop narrative they saddled themselves with by initially embracing the short-sighted and unpopular “defund the police” movement in 2020.
“Democrats embraced a radical, anti-police agenda, and Americans are seeing the consequences as crime soars nationwide,” Calvin Moore, communications director for the GOP-linked super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund, told the outlet. “Even as communities grow more dangerous by the day, Democrats are doing everything in their power to make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs.”