In a ceremony held at the White House on Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump signed an executive order addressing police reform in America and then addressed a group of law enforcement professionals and community leaders assembled in the Rose Garden.
According to NPR News, the order will create a database to track police officers with multiple instances of misconduct, and use federal grants to encourage departments to meet certain higher certification standards on use of force. It would also call on departments to involve social workers and mental health professionals on calls dealing with homelessness, mental illness and addiction.
During his remarks, President Trump said, "Reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals. They are not mutually exclusive. They work together. They all work together."
President Trump emphasized he wants reform that doesn't compromise the authority and work of good police, and said the percentage of bad cops is "tiny."
The President said he is taking this executive action to encourage police to adopt the "highest and the strongest" professional standards.
He then criticized calls to defund police departments, saying that doing so would be antithetical to upholding law and order.
"I strongly oppose the radical and dangerous efforts to defend, dismantle and dissolve our police departments, especially now when we’ve achieved the lowest recorded crime rates in recent history," the president said. "Americans know the truth. Without police, there is chaos. Without law, there is anarchy. And without safety, there is catastrophe."
He also expressed compassion and concern for families who have had loved ones die in police custody or during police interactions, and said that he had met privately with the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Antwon Rose, Jemel Roberson, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver, Cameron Lamb, and Everett Palmer.
"These are incredible people ... and it's so sad," Trump said during his remarks. "We are one nation. We grieve together. And we heal together. I can never imagine your pain or the depth of your anguish, but I can promise to fight for justice for all of our people. And I gave a commitment to all of those families today."
Toward the conclusion of his remarks, President Trump then emphasized his strong allegiance with the men and women of law enforcement, saying, "We must support the brave men and women in blue who police our streets and keep us safe."