Trump was prompted to take action on police reform after weeks of protests and riots related to the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed African American man who died in police custody.
During his announcement of the executive order in the White House Rose Garden, the president pointed out that the new executive order incentivizes police departments across the United States to “adopt the highest professional standards to serve their communities,” according to a YouTube clip.
However, Pelosi stood to the left of Trump’s decision, calling for an all-out ban on the practice which will still be allowable in some situations after the president’s Tuesday order.
The House speaker told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that she “can’t imagine they wouldn’t have a ban on chokeholds, let’s get reasonable,” when asked if the issue would be a deal breaker in negotiations with GOP lawmakers.
Pelosi went on to say that the practice constitutes “racial injustice and police brutality,” even going so far as to say that “[a] chokehold is a lynching, it’s a strangulation, it’s a lynching,”
Speaker Pelosi: "A chokehold is a lynching. It's a strangulation. It's a lynching." pic.twitter.com/esPZWeauJ6
— The Hill (@thehill) June 16, 2020
According to Fox News coverage of the order, the Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities only allows law enforcement to use chokeholds in situations that are deemed life-threatening. Also included in the new plan are funds to be doled out by the Department of Justice to police departments who undergo new certifications that will enforce higher standards.
In addition to the more strenuous standards, there will be a database that can be shared with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement to assist agencies in pinpointing officers with a track record of using excessive force. Ideally, the database could prevent those guilty of such activity from being able to escape that record when seeking employment in law enforcement.
“The President’s Executive Order lacks meaningful, mandatory accountability measures to end misconduct,” Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday, according to Fox News. “During this moment of national anguish, we must insist on bold change, not meekly surrender to the bare minimum.”
Several high profile individuals have called for the president to enact the chokehold ban, including Geraldo Rivera, who tweeted his recommendation following Floyd’s memorial service in Houston, Texas, just days ago.
“#GeorgeFloydFuneral deeply affecting” Rivera tweeted on Tuesday.
“To honor his family and millions profoundly saddened & angry over his murder, now is the perfect time for @realDonaldTrump to issue an Executive Order Banning chokeholds by any officer of any law enforcement agency receiving federal funding.”