2/09/17

Today, President Trump signed three executive orders detailing ways in which the White House will address crime, including violence against police. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) offered the following statement:

“Today’s orders ignore federal crime statistics showing that overall crime has declined, and threaten to take the country backward to a time of discriminatory, counterproductive zero-tolerance, War on Drugs policing tactics, tactics bemoaned by some law enforcement officials. These approaches resulted in a bloated and costly federal prison system filled with a growing population of persons convicted of low-level drug offenders, the vast majority of whom were persons of color.  

“Equally disturbing is the President’s failure to acknowledge the countless graphic videos of police-involved shooting deaths of unarmed civilians, particularly African-American men, women and children.  Indeed, while on the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump commented that he was “very, very, troubled” by the police shooting death of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who appeared to do everything right, according to Mr. Trump. This shooting and many others have led to a gulf of mistrust between police and the communities they serve. Any crime-fighting strategy must include efforts to build trust so that residents and law enforcement officers are safe. It is our hope that President Trump will amend his executive order to include examining and addressing policing practices that have led to strained relations between police and communities of color.

“Any effort around meaningful reform must involve a diverse array of voices rather than ill-informed and unilateral action that ignores public outcry for fair and responsible policing and is based on the misuse of data.”