Watch: Biden signs police reform executive order on 2-year anniversary of George Floyd killing

The order requires federal agencies and encourage local police to modify restrictions on no-knock warrants and use-of-force


By Jarrell Dillard
Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is set to issue an executive order to revise use-of-force policies for federal law enforcement on Wednesday’s two-year anniversary of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The order would require a review and modification of federal law-enforcement policies, including restrictions on no-knock warrants and choke holds, and would encourage local police agencies to adopt restrictions on those practices through awarding of grants, according to a person familiar with the issue.

It will also include guidance on responding to mental-health crises and create a central database for officer misconduct records, according to the person, who asked for anonymity because the plan hasn’t been publicly released.

Floyd’s death, along with the deaths of several other people of color at the hands of law enforcement, sparked nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

“We know full well that an executive order cannot address America’s policing crisis the same way Congress has the ability to, but we’ve got to do everything we can,” National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Derrick Johnson said in a statement Tuesday. “There’s no better way to honor George Floyd’s legacy than for President Biden to take action by signing a police-reform executive order.”

House Democrats passed a sweeping law-enforcement overhaul bill named after Floyd in March 2021, but bipartisan negotiations in the Senate collapsed in September.

The effort was led by Senator Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat and Representative Karen Bass, a California Democrat and Senator Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican.

[RELATED: Minneapolis halts reform talks until police spying accusations are verified]

Among the stumbling blocks to an agreement was Republican opposition to letting families of victims of police violence sue police officers for damages in civil lawsuits.

Biden’s executive order, which White House officials have been working on for months, includes several elements of the lawmakers’ efforts.

The New York Times reported Biden’s planned order earlier Tuesday.

The Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police are expected to be at the White House tomorrow when Biden issues the order and have indicated they are supportive, the person said.

A draft version leaked in January received backlash from law enforcement groups.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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