President Donald Trump hosted the family of Ahmaud Arbery, as well as families of those killed in incidents of alleged police brutality, in an “emotional” but productive meeting on Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reported.
According to the Examiner, Trump followed the meeting with the signing of an executive order to address misconduct by law enforcement.
“All Americans mourn by your side. Your loved ones will not have died in vain,” the president said during the heartbreaking event, according to USA Today.
He went on: “We are one nation. We grieve together. And we heal together.”
“He’s very compassionate”
The Tuesday meeting comes after weeks of protests and violence across the country following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, a black man, in the custody of Minneapolis police.
The mother of Ahmaud Arbery — a 25-year-old black man who was killed by a pair of white men while jogging in Georgia last February, according to The New York Times — said “the president was very receiving” during the meeting.
“He’s very compassionate. He did assure each family member that we would and should expect change,” Wanda Cooper-Jones said, according to the Examiner.
USA Today reports, however, that activist Shaun King, speaking on behalf of an attorney representing the Arbery family, said the meeting was “contentious.” The families chose not to attend the president’s signing event, according to the Examiner.
“It’s a start”
It remains unclear whether the takeaway of the meeting will be as positive as Trump must have hoped. What’s more, his executive order may not be perceived as a win for his administration.
Indeed, numerous police officers have resigned from their posts in recent weeks, citing lack of support from both local and federal officials, according to ABC News. This time around, President Trump needed to stand with the good police officers who have been largely thrown under the bus.
The order prioritizes federal funding for police departments that embrace de-escalation tactics, including a ban on chokeholds outside of instances where an officer’s life is in danger, and improves the government’s ability to track officers with a history of excessive force complaints. It also encourages deeper collaboration between police officers and social workers.
According to the Examiner, Cooper-Jones said the order didn’t do enough, but conceded, “It’s a start.”