US Order to improve Policing

US President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order to improve accountability in policing.

When the order was signed?

The order was signed on the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death. Since the George Floyd incident, many started demanding police reforms. But, the delay in reforms reflects the challenges in addressing racism, excessive use of force, and public safety. US lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on how to reform the police policies and in this regard, the US president has limited options.

What are the highlights of the order?

The order involves provisions regarding policies on the use of force and misconduct of officers. It also analyzes the impact of facial recognition software on civil liberties, and ways to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in federal prisons and suggests improving data collection regarding police practices.

While meeting the demands of reforms, the US President is also attempting to strike a balance between police and civil rights groups. The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police coordinated with the US President regarding the order. The order was a crucial but incomplete step.

What are the initiatives taken by former presidents?

In 2020, Donald Trump also signed a similar order soon after Floyd’s death to curb police brutality and excessive use of force. The order gave incentives to the departments for meeting certain standards on the use of force. It also called for the establishment of a database t0 tracks terminations, criminal convictions, and civil judgments against police for excessive use of force.

In 2014, Barack Obama formed a task force to push for police reforms. The important recommendation of the task force was to expand the database of law enforcement officers who had been decertified.

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