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Trump announces executive order on police use of force

Paul Best

President Donald Trump said at a roundtable discussion with faith leaders, law enforcement officials, and small business owners in Dallas Thursday that his administration has developed an executive order about the use of force by police amid nationwide protests over the recent death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis.

“We are finalizing an executive order that will encourage police departments nationwide to meet the most current professional standards for the use of force, including tactics for de-escalation,” he said. “Also, we’ll encourage pilot programs that allow social workers to join certain law enforcement officers so that they work together.”

The president also addressed the movement to “defund the police” that some protesters have embraced.

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“We’ll take care of our police. We’re not defunding police. If anything we’re going the opposite route,” he said. “We’re going to make sure that our police are well trained, perfectly trained, they have the best equipment.”

Trump’s announcement of an executive order on use of force comes as Congress is also focusing on police reform. On Monday, House Democrats unveiled sweeping police reform legislation aimed at increasing transparency and holding law enforcement officers accountable for misconduct.

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) has been leading talks on the GOP side. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told “Fox & Friends” yesterday that some of President Trump’s advisers have been meeting with Senator Scott.

“They had a very positive meeting with Senator Scott,” McEnany said. “It was very productive, and we do believe that we will have proactive policy prescriptions, whether that means legislation or an executive order.”

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Trump also said Thursday his administration will focus on economic development in minority communities and "at the heart of this effort is increasing access to capital for small businesses."

Minority communities will also be boosted by investing "substantial sums" into medical institutions serving those areas. Trump called several "a disgrace." The issue of disparity in health care has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, Trump promised to renew "our call for Congress to enact school choice," which some proponents contend can fuel national economic growth.

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Included in the roundtable discussion at Gateway Church were Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton but Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall, Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown and District Attorney John Creuzot were reportedly not asked to attend.

After the roundtable, the President is slated to attend a multimillion-dollar reelection fundraiser.

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