Trump to sign executive order to “incentivize” best behavior by police

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on policing Tuesday that aims to accomplish three things — to incentivize police departments to use modernized best practices, to increase information sharing by tracking people who have “excessive” use-of-force complaints, and to address mental health, homelessness and addiction.

“Nobody hates bad cops more than good cops,” a senior administration official said in a phone call with reporters.

The details of how the executive order will work are not yet clear, and senior administration officials on the call did not offer much detail on what mechanisms would be used to “incentivize” good behavior. However, officials did say that departments that follow the three guidelines and have certification will be favored for discretionary grants.

The Justice Department will be taking the guiding principles of the executive order and crafting them into “specific guidance,” one senior administration official said. The executive order comes after weeks of questions about what the president would do in response to the nationwide protests calling for policing reform after the death of George Floyd

That senior administration official said the “goal of this is to bring police closer together with communities.” The White House has been working on this executive order the last “couple of weeks,” according to the official.

Nonetheless, the executive order is likely to fall far short of what policing reform advocates are demanding after Floyd’s death. The order does not include any enforcement mechanism for adhering to the guidelines, and advocates for police reform are calling for much more sweeping reforms that address systemic racism and provide strict consequences for officers who violate the civil rights of citizens. 

The president is also going to call on Congress to address policing reforms with legislation, the official said. Mr. Trump has largely emphasized his support for law enforcement, as the nation deals with racial tensions. 

“You’re never going to solve this problem by demonizing the police,” the official said, adding that problems can only be solved by working with the police. 

The White House hasn’t specified which reforms the president would support that are currently being discussed in Congress, but it has emphasized that ending qualified immunity, which would make it easier to sue police who violate an individual’s civil rights, is a non-starter. 

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