President Joe Biden is planning to issue an executive order on police reform in the coming weeks, Axios reports.
According to Axios’ sources, White House officials have engaged for over 90 hours with congressional leaders, the civil rights community, police unions and families of those killed by police, with the goal of ”striking the right balance,” since attempts at police reform can be politically risky.
Leftists and civil rights activists, who make up key Democratic constituencies, want more accountability from law enforcement and more action from the Oval Office.
But at the same time, Biden has been trying to appeal to centrist voters by highlighting efforts against crime, such as stating in his State of the Union address that ”the answer is not to defund the police,” and telling families of fallen law enforcement officials Sunday, at the beginning of National Police Week, that ”being a cop today is a heck of a lot harder than it’s ever been.”
The executive order has been in Biden’s focus since congressional negotiations over the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act fell through last year.
Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, told Axios that ”I hope that the executive order strikes a balance between the legitimate concerns of the civil rights community and the legitimate concerns of the law enforcement community,” and that ”our goals are the same: to make the country safer for everybody without discrimination.”
NAACP President Derrick Johnson told Axios that ”what the administration is proposing is a great thing, but it’s secondary because an executive order only pales in its effectiveness to actual legislation,” and added that ”we commend the administration for stepping in, but we implore the Senate to do its job and change policing in this country so that communities and police officers are safe, and so that bad actors are not a part of law enforcement culture.”