Donald Trump launches timid police reform in face of anti-racist anger

Donald Trump is trying to calm the anti-racist anger that is raging across the Atlantic. The American president signed on Tuesday June 16, 2020 a decree prohibiting the taking of bottlenecks, except in the event of danger to the life of the policeman, and ordering a limited reform of the police. Hammering his will to restore “law and order” while paying tribute to the pain of the families of victims he had just met in private, the American president affirmed that it was necessary “to bring together the police and the communities, not keep them away. “

With this decree, the tenant of the White House declared that he wanted to offer a “secure future to Americans of all races, religions, colors and beliefs”. But its limited measures should not satisfy the demonstrators who have mobilized since the death of George Floyd, an African American forty-year-old asphyxiated by a white police officer on May 25 in Minneapolis. And who demand in particular the outright ban on controversial strangulation. If the presidential decree bans them, it lifts the ban in cases where “the life of a police officer is in danger,” said Donald Trump in the White House gardens.

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“Without the police, there is chaos”

Before representatives of his government, the police and Republican parliamentarians, but in the notable absence of relatives of the victims, he affirmed that “the Americans know the truth: without the police, there is chaos, without the right , there is anarchy and without security, it is a catastrophe ”. Since the American president has only limited power over the police services, which mainly depend on states and cities, the decree will use the lever of federal subsidies to “encourage” them to respect “the highest professional standards”. These include improving “training on the use of force and disengagement techniques” and sharing of data on agents known for their bad practices.

Only a “very small” number of agents commits mistakes, underlined Donald Trump in remarks which sometimes took the form of campaign speeches. If he deplored the death of George Floyd and other black victims, the Republican, candidate for his re-election in November, has since the beginning of the protests dodged the debate on racism.

” Insufficient “

An “insufficient decree”, judged Kate Bedingfield, spokesman for her democratic rival for the presidential Joe Biden, by accusing Donald Trump of having spent his mandate to “destroy” the reforms adopted under Barack Obama. The Democratic President of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, also estimated that these measures were “sadly (…) not commensurate with the actions necessary to combat” racism and police violence that kill “hundreds of Black Americans ”.

The Democrats have included an outright ban on chokeholds in a bill they could pass in the House next week. But it is very unlikely that it will pass the Senate stage, with a Republican majority. The only black Republican senator, Tim Scott, intends to introduce a bill that should not go that far. Positions at the antipodes suggesting harsh negotiations in Congress, which Donald Trump called to agree on measures going further.

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Indignation

The death of George Floyd sparked the strongest mobilization across the United States since the civil rights movement in the 1960s. And prompted several cities to ban controversial police practices without waiting for the Trump administration or the Congress. In this already alive country, the death under the bullets of a white policeman of another African-American, Rayshard Brooks, Friday evening in Atlanta, relaunched the mobilization. And several other cases continue to fuel outrage.

Under pressure, Los Angeles County police pledged on Monday to conduct an “in-depth” investigation into the death of a young black man, Robert Fuller, who was hanged from a tree last week. In southern Mexico, a man was seriously injured on Monday during a rally against a colonial statue while a far-right militia, “heavily armed” according to authorities , had come to counter-demonstrate.

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