Congressmember Karen Bass joined President Joe Biden, Senator Cory Booker and the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the White House this week for the signing of an executive order that establishes new rules and regulations for federal law enforcement officers, while also marking the two-year anniversary of Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.
Representative Bass successfully led the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in the House of Representatives twice, however, it later stalled in the Senate. Representative Bass and Senator Booker then requested the Biden Administration develop an executive order to address the issue. After working closely with the White House, an executive order was finalized to establish new rules and regulations for federal law enforcement officers that will improve transparency and accountability in policing. The signing of this important executive order is a huge step forward toward improving policing in America.
“Two years ago, the murder of George Floyd exposed for many what Black and Brown communities have long known and experienced – that more must be done to ensure that America lives up to its founding promise of fair and impartial justice for all,” President Biden stated.
Biden’s executive action will advance effective, accountable policing and criminal justice practices that will build public trust and strengthen public safety, the White House contends.
Bass counts the executive order as the latest in a series of accomplishments to make Los Angeles safer, including securing millions of dollars directly appropriated to California’s 37th district to prevent crime and address homelessness.
“I refused to take no for an answer,” said Rep. Bass. “Just like my friend and colleague Congressman John Lewis used to say – you have to make a way out of no way. When I saw that the Senate was refusing to act, we went straight to the White House to ensure that action would be taken to address police reform.”
The order requires the use of federal tools such as guidance on best practices, training, and technical assistance, and grantmaking to support reforms at state, tribal, local, and territorial law enforcement agencies that will strengthen public trust and improve public safety across the nation.
It creates a new national database of police misconduct to include records of officer misconduct, including convictions, terminations, de-certifications, civil judgments, resignations, and retirements while under investigation for serious misconduct, and sustained complaints or records of disciplinary actions for serious misconduct.
Biden’s order further requires federal agencies to adopt measures to promote thorough investigation and preservation of evidence after incidents involving the use of deadly force or deaths in custody, as well as to prevent unnecessary delays and ensure appropriate administration of discipline.
It also bans the use of chokeholds and carotid restraints unless deadly force is authorized and restricts the use of no-knock entries.
Under the order, a new committee with representatives from agencies across the federal government will produce a strategic plan that advances front-end diversion, alternatives to incarceration, rehabilitation, and reentry.