Trump Signs EO For Police Reform, Schumer Whines
Trump Signs EO For Police Reform, Schumer Whines
This morning, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at police reforms, specifically by creating new credentialing that local law enforcement would have to meet before they could get federal grants.
As is so often noted, policing is done at the local level. The only way that the federal government can change local policing is either by a change in law, by an order of the court, or by withholding federal dollars. President Trump has gone for the leverage within his authority – that of the government’s pursestrings.
The entirety of the executive order can be read here, but the gist of it involves new standards and training – to be determined by the Attorney General and the Secretary for Health and Human Services – in order for police departments to qualify for discretionary federal grant funding, a ban on chokeholds unless the LEO’s life is in danger, a database being created to share information about and/or track police officers who have been fired for misconduct who may try to get a new law enforcement job in a different area, and an emphasis on more training to deal with mental health, including adding more social workers or mental health experts to work with law enforcement.
President Trump, in the opening text of the EO, tried to both acknowledge the good work that law enforcement has done, and acknowledge that there have been failures as well.
Law enforcement officers provide the essential protection that all Americans require to raise their families and lead productive lives. The relationship between our fellow citizens and law enforcement officers is an important element in their ability to provide that protection. By working directly with their communities, law enforcement officers can help foster a safe environment where we all can prosper.”
Unfortunately, there have been instances in which some officers have misused their authority, challenging the trust of the American people, with tragic consequences for individual victims, their communities, and our Nation. All Americans are entitled to live with the confidence that the law enforcement officers and agencies in their communities will live up to our Nation’s founding ideals and will protect the rights of all persons. Particularly in African-American communities, we must redouble our efforts as a Nation to swiftly address instances of misconduct.”
The Constitution declares in its preamble that one of its primary purposes was to establish Justice. Generations of Americans have marched, fought, bled, and died to safeguard the promise of our founding document and protect our shared inalienable rights. Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial leaders must act in furtherance of that legacy.”
Honestly, at first pass, the reading of this EO is quite tame. There doesn’t seem to be anything in this that oversteps the federal government’s legal authority on its surface, though privacy protection for the proposed database is going to be quite a important feature. And during his remarks, President Trump – who was flanked by many law enforcement representatives for the Rose Garden signing – did not say anything that could be considered controversial.
Unless you’re Chuck Schumer, in which case you whine because ORANGE MAN BAD and because you wanted to pass some kind of legislation FIRST.
“While the president has finally acknowledged the need for policing reform, one modest executive order will not make up for his years of inflammatory rhetoric and policies designed to roll back the progress made in previous years,” Schumer said in a statement Tuesday.”
“Unfortunately, this executive order will not deliver the comprehensive meaningful change and accountability in our nation’s police departments that Americans are demanding,” he added. “Congress needs to quickly pass strong and bold legislation with provisions that makes it easier to hold police officers accountable for abuses, and President Trump must commit to signing it into law.”
I read Schumer’s comments, and all I hear is a trombone wailing in the manner of an adult talking in a Charlie Brown cartoon. This is not a serious comment about the actual issues, because when Schumer commented, the text of the EO had not yet been released, per the article The Hill wrote, so he was only reacting to what he heard Trump say. Excuse me if I don’t take seriously any complaints from someone who willingly wore Kente cloth in his group drama performance art demonstration just a week ago.
Many of the proposed law enforcement reforms do need actual legislation to be debated, hammered out, and voted upon. But for Schumer to snivel and whine because Trump got ahead of Congress is childish and petty. Which means it sounds exactly like Chuck Schumer.
Featured image: President Donald Trump on April 27, 2020 (official White House photo by Andrea Hanks via White House Flickr, cropped, public domain)