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President Trump is signing an executive order on law enforcement reform in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an event that tipped off weeks of protests, as the nation grapples with racial disparities in policing and the criminal justice system that have spurred calls as drastic as the dismantling of entire police departments.
The president appeared Tuesday in the Rose Garden to sign the order, which is titled "Safe Policing for Safe Communities."
"Both public safety and public trust are crucial to the law enforcement mission," the White House said in a tweet Monday night. "Tomorrow’s Executive Order will uphold clear and high policing standards, promote accountability in law enforcement, and help equip police officers for constructive community engagement."
The president took questions from reporters at a Monday roundtable and did not go into the details of the order, but said that it would have "some solutions."
"The overall goal is we want law and order," Trump said of the executive order. "It's about justice also. It's about safety."
According to the White House, Trump's order will touch on use of force best practices, information sharing to track officers who have repeated complaints against them and federal incentives for police departments to deploy non-police experts on issues like mental health, homelessness and addiction.
Senate Republicans' police reform bill fails on test vote amid Dem opposition
Posted by Susan Taylor on June 24, 2020 at 6:20pm in General Discussion (Change)Send Message View Discussions
No surprise that the Dems would fight this!
A Republican-authored police reform bill failed in a Senate test vote Wednesday after Democrats opposed the bill on the basis it did not go far enough – sparking a furious war of words on the floor and marking an apparent impasse just weeks after George Floyd's death led to calls for new legislation.
The procedural vote on whether to start debate was 55-45; it needed 60 votes in order to proceed. Republicans had 53 votes, but not enough Democrats joined them.
This effectively freezes police reform in Congress for now, even if the House approves its own measure on Thursday.
PELOSI SAYS REPUBLICANS 'TRYING TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER' OF GEORGE FLOYD
“The Senate was supposed to officially take up police reform on the floor today. Instead, our Democratic colleagues are poised to turn this routine step into a partisan impasse,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., fumed, saying the bill was a “first offer” and could have been altered during the debate process.
Lawmakers in the House and Senate have proposed bills amid the movement to reform policing in the wake of Floyd's death last month in Minneapolis police custody.
Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Tim Scott, unveil police reform billVideo
The GOP legislation, spearheaded by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., would beef up requirements for law enforcement to compile use of force reports. It would also establish the Breonna Taylor Notification Act to track “no-knock” warrants. To focus on ending chokeholds, it encourages agencies to do away with the practice or risk losing federal funds.
MCCONNELL ACCUSES DEMS OF 'BIZARRE NEW ULTIMATUM' ON POLICE REFORM, AS BILL POISED TO FAIL
However, it does not ban chokeholds outright and does not end qualified immunity – two items that Democrats have demanded.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said the bill "guarantees that the cycle of violence in our country, the cycle of abuse of civil rights, the cycle of death that has moved so many Americans will continue."
Sen. Tillis on police reform bill: Democrats are putting ‘future George Floyds at risk’Video
Of those senators who caucus with Democrats, only West Virginia's Joe Manchin, Alabama's Doug Jones, and Maine's Angus King voted to proceed.
Scott took to the Senate floor after the vote to blast Democrats for what he saw as opposition fueled by politics, not policy.
"They cannot allow this party to be seen as a party that reaches out to all communities in this nation," he said.
Ahead of the vote, McConnell praised the bill and accused Democrats of coming up with a “bizarre new ultimatum” by threatening to block the bill from being debated.
‘JUSTICE ACT’: WHAT’S IN THE SENATE REPUBLICAN POLICE REFORM BILL
“They don’t want a debate, they don’t want amendments, they'll filibuster police reform from even reaching the floor of the Senate unless the majority lets the minority rewrite the bill behind closed doors in advance,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., shot back at McConnell, and said the bill was the "legislative equivalent of a fig leaf, something that provides a little cover but no real change."
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"Don't get on your sanctimonious horse, Leader McConnell. You have none of the civil rights leaders behind you," he said.
It's the latest fiery language from lawmakers on the passionate debate. On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Republicans are "trying to get away with murder, actually – the murder of George Floyd."
Tim Scott Targeted By Death Threats, Racial Slurs
Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott on Tuesday told his colleagues he has received a large number of death threats and phone calls with graphic racial slurs.
During Republicans’ weekly luncheon, Scott mentioned he has been getting a lot of calls with death threats and many racial slurs, The New York Times reported. Scott reportedly mentioned he had been called “Uncle Tim,” in one call and that the caller told Scott to “take your one-way ticket straight to hell.” Another caller reportedly talked about putting Scott “in his crosshairs.”
This comes as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture Monday on the Republican police reform legislation, setting an official date for the vote.
McConnell said the Senate will vote on the GOP’s police reform bill, which will need 60 votes in order to pass. Republicans would need seven or more Democrats to vote with them in order for the legislation to advance. Senate Republicans released their police reform legislation Wednesday in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing protests.
“The only group left in Washington D.C. that are reportedly agonizing over whether to block a discussion of police reform or let it proceed seem to be our Senate Democratic colleagues,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Monday. “I hope that whatever strange political calculations are making this difficult for our friends across the aisle will yield to common sense and to the American people’s hunger for progress. We will find out when we vote later this week.”
Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and McConnell introduced the legislation in a press conference.