Police reform has been a pressing topic in America for the past few years, specifically after George Floyd’s death in 2020 due to police brutality. Conversations around initiatives, retraining, and reorganizing the way law enforcement operates is abundant. In direct response to Floyd’s death, President Biden’s Executive Order, signed in May of last year, ordered to promote accountability for all law enforcement, raise standards, and support law enforcement with training and other systems in place. Most recently, in Washington D.C., President Biden addressed a civil rights group about further police reform, said Insider.
At the National Action Network event for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Biden gave a speech about racial injustice and spoke out about police reform, said Insider. In his speech, he criticized Republicans for not passing a police reform bill drafted by Democrats. In the bill, specific steps were created to restrict and retrain police officers against using deadly force. “Why should you always shoot with deadly force? The fact is, if you need to use your weapon, you don’t have to do that,” said Biden during the address, reports the New York Post.
In addition, the bill also proposed to prohibit chokeholds and “hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct in court.” Negotiations fell through and the bill did not get voted in by Senate Republicans in 2021. In an effort to create action, President Biden passed an executive order at the federal level for police reform, stating it was the “only thing I could do,” said Insider. His executive order includes a ban on chokeholds, restricts no-knock warrants, and puts restrictions on use-of-force policies, says the National Review. This is the first major gun safety legislation in almost 30 years, said Biden during the address, also stating that he will additionally ban assault weapons.
Backlash from President Biden’s address surfaced on social media from law enforcement supporters, saying his comments were irresponsible and caused problems where there doesn’t need to be any, reports the New York Post. Comments from the Crime Prevention Research Center referred to the struggles law enforcement has had concerning keeping officers on the force.
In a report from the National Review, 1,101 people have been fatally shot by the police in the last 12 months. 83% of those fatally shot were armed. 6% of the cases were unarmed, said the report. The protocol for police training is still that if an officer has decided to use deadly force, he should aim for the “opponent’s center of mass and continue firing until the threat is neutralized,” said National Review. During his 2020 campaign, President Biden suggested that police officers aim for the leg instead of shooting to kill during such an encounter.
During his address, President Biden said the country has reached a critical point, concerning the progress we’ve made, said PBS. He asked the question, “Are we a people who will choose democracy over autocracy?” He also noted that Americans need to choose community over chaos if we are to continue with progress.
Many reform bills have passed in cities across the country after Floyd’s death, however, over the past two years, many of them have reverted back to their original models, says Insider.
Police Deadly Shooting in San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange County, Los Angeles County
Those who have fell victim or who have loved ones who have suffered from police excessive force that resulted in serious injury or death need to have justice served and police accountable. Our civil rights attorneys at The Sehat Law firm will fight with you and stand up to those who abuse their power. Please contact us, we want to hear your case.