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Biden signs policing order on anniversary of Floyd’s death

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday to improve accountability in policing —a meaningful but limited action on the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death.
By JOSH BOAK and CHRIS MEGERIAN
WASHINGTON President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday to improve accountability in policing —a meaningful but limited action on the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death that reflected the challenges in addressing racism, excessive use of force and public safety when Congress is deadlocked on stronger measures. The event shaped by one tragedy occurred a day after a second one, a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris gave remarks that tried to comfort those affected by the shooting as well those who have suffered from police brutality, promising them that change could come eventually despite the partisan divides on Capitol Hill.
“I know progress can be slow and frustrating,” Biden said. “Today we’re acting. We’re showing that speaking out matters. Being engaged matters. That the work of our time, healing the soul of this nation, is ongoing and unfinished and requires all of us never to give up.”
Floyd’s family was in the audience at the White House as the president declared that “what we do in their memory matters.” With lawmakers unable to reach agreement on how to reform police policies or on efforts to reduce mass shootings, the president has limited avenues for advancing his campaign promises. And as he tries to build consensus, Biden is also attempting to strike a balance between police and civil rights groups at a time when rising concerns about crime are eclipsing calls for reform. Most of Biden’s order is focused on federal law enforcement agencies — for example, requiring them to review and revise policies on use of force. It will also create a database to help track officer misconduct, according to the White House. Although the administration cannot require local police departments to participate in the database, which is intended to prevent problem officers from hopping from job to job, officials are looking for ways to use federal funding to encourage their cooperation.

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