Amid national protests since the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to encourage better police practices.
The executive order aims to establish a database that tracks police officers with excessive use-of-force complaints in their records.
The order also encourages co-responder programs, wherein social workers join police when they respond to nonviolent calls involving mental health, addiction and homeless issues.
It also aims to provide financial incentives to police departments that adopt best practices, and the President said that the use of chokeholds would be banned “except if an officer’s life is at risk.”
The Justice Department has been instructed by the executive order to push local police departments to be certified with use-of-force policies that prohibit the use of chokeholds by a “reputable independent credentialing body.”
The president said during his Rose Garden signing ceremony that he grieved for the lives lost and families devastated by the fatal encounter between several black Americans and the police.
He then shifted his tone and focused his public remarks to promote the need to respect and support “the brave men and women in blue who police our streets and keep us safe.”
He also made no mention of the national debate over systemic racism since police killings of black men and women have been brought to light.
Trump instead, described the officers who have used excessive force as a “tiny” number of outliers among “trustworthy” police ranks.
Flanked by police officials, the President said, “Reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals.”
The President has faced criticism advocating for rougher police treatment of suspects in the past and for failing to acknowledge systemic racial bias.
During the signing event, Trump strongly criticized those who committed violence during the largely peaceful protests while praising the vast majority of officers as selfless public servants.