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USA: Trump's executive order on policing a 'band-aid for a bullet wound'

Protests Washington DC, June 2020 © © Amnesty International (Photo: Alli Jarrar)

Responding to an Executive Order by US President Donald Trump on policing, Kristina Roth, Amnesty International USA’s Senior Programmes Officer on Criminal Justice, said:

"President Trump’s Executive Order amounts to a band-aid for a bullet wound, and the public will not be easily fooled by half measures when this moment is calling for transformational change of policing.

“Black families will continue to have to prepare their children on how to survive an interaction with police and say the names of their loved ones that did not make it home.

“The United States needs much stronger national standards to provide parameters on the use of force and to restrict the use of deadly force

“This Executive Order attempts to cover harmful rhetoric from this administration encouraging excessive force with a modest proposal.

“Our system of justice should seek to live up to its name, as people take to the streets to demand we reimagine public safety.  We must push for our criminal justice system to be transformed, and for the use of force to be limited as a tactic, unless necessary in a situation, and with no other possible means to de-escalate."

Meaningful police reforms needed

Amnesty is calling for meaningful reforms to end police violence and demanding the US Government respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of Black people. These calls include a push for Congress to pass the PEACE Act, included in the Justice in Policing Act, to create a national use of force standard that prioritises limiting lethal force as a last resort.

In response to George Floyd’s killing, Amnesty has been calling for police accountability for the use of deadly force. As protesters have taken to the streets to call for change, Amnesty  spoke out against the excessive force used by law enforcement, calling for demilitarisation and dialogue. As President Trump has used rhetoric against those practicing their right to protest peacefully, Amnesty has called for systemic change.  

Amnesty has been monitoring police forces in cities across the country using tear gas and other crowd control agents in the recent protests. A new investigation launched last week analyses the misuse of tear gas in the US and around the world.

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