President Donald Trump’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice mixed support for policies curbing excessive force with sharp criticism for prosecutors who undermine justice by “deciding not to enforce certain laws.” President-elect Joe Biden, who plans to create his own policing commission, has said he would review previous administrations’ recommendations on “their merits.”
The prohibition of chokeholds, “except in situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law,” is part of the new Standards of Certification to be used by police agencies around the country, under President Trump’s June Executive Order 13929, “Safe Policing for Safe Communities.”
Most of the $115 billion spent on public safety in 2017 went to police salaries, according to an Urban Institute study, which also noted that budget choices have been often “rooted in persistent structural racism.”
Charles Ramsey, who led police departments in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., found common ground with Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson on the need for police reform in a conversation Wednesday. “Too many cops…are on the job that should not be on the job,” Ramsey said.
Cops who are fired for misconduct are likely to repeat the same offense if they get a second law enforcement job, according to a Yale study. The risks to communities posed by these so-called “wandering officers” could be addressed with a reinforced national database of decertified officers, accompanied by stricter state record-keeping, say the study authors.
Determining the trends in police-involved killings — and what measures are effective in reducing them — can be difficult because there is no federal mandate that requires police departments to report lethal encounters.
The opportunity to take some time before undergoing questioning by investigators angers community activists and others seeking reforms of police departments around the country who believe it gives officers time to reshape their story to justify a shooting and avoid getting fired or charged.
It’s unclear if that objective is realistic given the disfavor, even hostility, the Department of Justice under President Donald Trump has shown toward such court-supervised plans, called consent decrees, which agency policymakers say too often tie the hands of officers while imposing burdensome costs.