WASHINGTON D.C. — President Joe Biden signed an executive order to reform policing practices Wednesday afternoon.
“The executive order is going to deliver the most significant police reform in decades,” he said.
The order applies to federal officers. It includes the creation of a new data base and will publish substantiated complaints and disciplinary actions.
The goal is to prevent officers who are fired for misconduct from taking a policing job somewhere else. Local and state agencies ar encouraged to contribute and use the database but not required.
The order does require federal officers revise their use of force policies, ban chokeholds unless the deadly force is authorized and limits no-knock warrants publicly documenting when they’re used and why. Local departments will be incentivized to follow suit.
The order also prevents the transfer of military equipment to local agencies.
“There’s a lot more as well. The bottom line is the executive order includes reforms that are long been talked about and that we are implementing at a federal level. It comes at a critical time,” President Biden said.
Wednesday marked the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man murdered by Minneapolis police. His family was at the singing ceremony.
“It’s not about their death but what we do in their memory,” President Biden said.
Floyd’s murder sparked protests calling out the gross inequities in policing and demanding change.
Federal lawmakers tried to pass stronger police reform legislation, but it failed to garner bipartisan support.
Organizations like the NAACP call the new executive order “a good step forward.”
The National Urban League added, “While a limited executive order is no substitute for the broad federal legislation we have sought, it represents a measure of meaningful change.”
We reached out to Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis for a response to the new order, but haven’t heard back.
Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner sent a statement following the signing ceremony.
“Our law enforcement ranks are filled with outstanding men and women who perform amazing jobs every day with duties most people won’t fully understand.
I welcome any positive change from the President’s Executive Order that will make continuous improvement within the law enforcement career field.”