June 16, 2020

Watson Coleman to Trump on Executive Order: “We Know What We Need and This Isn’t It.”

Following news that President Donald Trump would sign an executive order on policing practices, after weeks of inaction, violent orders to clear protestors, and comments that encouraged police aggression against peaceful demonstrators, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman released the following statement:

“There’s been a chorus of voices calling out the ineptitude, backward thinking and dereliction of duty Trump has shown in his handling of the national outcry for justice for Black people. To spend weeks calling for military incursions in our cities on peaceful demonstrations, to violently clear out protestors for a photo-op, and use the kind of incendiary rhetoric he has used should tell you everything you need to know about the intention of this move. 

“To have a chance at changing the systemic issues in police departments nationwide, we need to eliminate qualified immunity, we need to change the standards for use of force, we need to eliminate no-knock warrants, and we need measures that promote transparency and accountability. The Justice in Policing Act does these things, while Trump’s order is a band-aid on a gaping wound ­­­­– useless and just for show.  We know what we need, and this isn’t it.

“Trump said that people are, ‘fighting for a cause that we rarely get the chance to fight for.’ The idea that this is something new, that such protests are rare, that such pushes for reform have been dormant and un-advocated until this moment is why any solution he offers will be as empty as he is of morality. The Justice in Policing Act honors generations of struggle against police brutality by taking steps protestors have actually called for. If the President wants to join the cause, he should join the calls for its passage.”