President Trump is expected to sign an executive order this Thursday that addresses the issue of police brutality. The order will establish new national standards for the use of force and for tracking police misconduct.
S. Lee Meritt, an attorney who represents many black families who have lost loved ones due to police violence, says that the order will have five sections.
- A statement acknowledging that some law enforcement officers have gravely misused their authority and have caused communities, particularly black communities, to mistrust them.
- An order to create a national certification and credentialing system for law enforcement agencies.
- An order to create a federal database to track officers accused of wrongdoing like excessive use of force.
- A directive to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to work on encouraging police departments to involve mental health officials when dealing with issues of mental health, homelessness and addiction.
- A directive to encourage Congress to pass legislation related to policing.
Last Thursday, during a Dallas roundtable, President Trump said he supported the use of “force, but force with compassion,” while rejecting what he called “radical efforts” to “defund, dismantle, and disband the police.” Which makes his decision to sign the order and to speak of “force with compassion” a change given his frequently expressed aggressive law and order stance.