President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday on police reform that bans choke holds “unless an officer’s life is at risk,” increases federal oversight of police departments and encourages departments to move toward better practices on use of force, though the order falls short of what activists are pushing for and ties its mandates to incentives.
US Democrats in Congress have proposed sweeping legislation to reform American police, following weeks of protests against police brutality and racism. The bill would make it easier to prosecute police for misconduct, ban chokeholds, and addresses racism. It comes as Minneapolis lawmakers vowed to disband the city’s police force. The death of George Floyd at the hands of a white officer there sparked national pressure for change.
Two US police officers have been suspended without pay after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. The footage emerged as protests over the killing of George Floyd continued into their tenth night. The elderly man can be seen approaching a line of officers wearing riot gear in Buffalo, New York, on Thursday.
A SWAT team rescued two police officers and three civilians trapped inside a Philadelphia house with an active gunman after a shootout in which six officers were wounded, police said on Wednesday. The gunman remained barricaded inside the home, with police urging him to surrender and media reporting he was armed with a semi-automatic rifle similar to the popular AK-47 style and several handguns.
On Monday, it was announced that police will now be given access to a number of military hardware including grenade launchers, armored vehicles, and bayonets, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions described it as “lifesaving gear.” Sessions said yesterday that President Trump will be signing the executive order, fully restoring the military program.