Trump's executive order on police brutality barely mentions racism in law enforcement

President Trump.
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Trump's executive order on policing stops far short of what protesters are asking for.

Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday that included several law enforcement reforms, including banning the use of chokeholds except in situations where an officer's life is in danger. But it only includes one mention of "African-American communities," and never touches on the systemic racism at the heart of nationwide protests.

Police departments across the U.S. will have to follow the guidelines established in the order to earn federal funding, most of which revolve around the use of force by officers. Along with the chokehold rule, the order calls for the creation of a national registry that documents officers' use of excessive force, and mandates departments "seek appropriate credentials from a reputable independent credentialing body" if they want to receive federal grants. The federal government will also develop a way to "train law enforcement officers with respect to encounters with individuals suffering from impaired mental health, homelessness, and addiction," and encourage departments to bring on "social workers or other mental health professionals" who will work alongside officers.

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Still, the order barely notes what launched these protests in the first place: systemic racism and the killing of black people by police officers. The order does note that "all Americans" should feel confident that law enforcement "will protect the rights of all persons," but simply mentions that "particularly in African-American communities, we must redouble our efforts as a Nation to swiftly address instances of misconduct" before dropping the racism topic altogether.

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.