Trump signs executive order restricting police use of chokeholds

Donald Trump has signed an executive order restricting the use of police chokeholds.

After widespread anger over the killing of African Americans by police, the US president said chokeholds “will be banned, except if an officer’s life is at risk”.

“We dealt with all the various departments and everybody says it’s time, we have to do it,” he said.

US President Donald Trump speaks at the event where he will sign an executive order on police reform, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, June 16, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Image:Donald Trump spoke in the rose garden of the White House

“Additionally we are looking at new advanced and powerful, less lethal weapons to help prevent deadly interactions.

“New devices are being developed all the time and we’re looking at the best of them.”

Mr Trump said police departments will need to share information about “credible abuses” so officers with “significant issues do not simply move from one police department to the next”.

He added that federal funding would be prioritised to police departments that are certified as having “high standards… on the use of force and de-escalation training”.

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Chokeholds are already largely banned in police departments across the US.

The executive order comes after protests in the US and around the world following the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.

George Floyd. Pic: Shutterstock
Image:George Floyd died after an officer knelt on his neck

The fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks by a white officer in Atlanta over the weekend has led to renewed public outcry and more demonstrations.

Before signing the executive order at the White House, Mr Trump met the families of people killed in fatal encounters with police, saying: “I can never imagine your pain or the depth of your anguish.”

8 minutes and 46 seconds: The Killing of George Floyd looks at how a black man died during his arrest by a white police officer in Minneapolis and the impact on global race relations.

Documentary: 8 Minutes and 46 Seconds

He added: “To all of the hurting families, I want you to know that all Americans mourn by your side. Your loved ones will not have died in vain.”

Mr Trump said he strongly opposed “the radical and dangerous efforts to…dismantle and dissolve our police departments”.

“Americans know the truth: Without police there is chaos, without law there is anarchy and without safety there is catastrophe,” he said.

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There have been weeks of worldwide demonstrations against racism and police brutality that were sparked by the death of Mr Floyd, an unarmed black man, on 25 May.

Former officer Derek Chauvin, who was filmed with his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Three other officers who were at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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