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Biden to sign executive order on policing two years after George Floyd's death
President Biden is expected to sign an executive order on federal policing Wednesday at the White House, multiple sources tell CBS News, two years after George Floyd died at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The executive order comes after bipartisan negotiations in Congress to reform policing failed last year. The effort, which was sparked by Floyd's death, was spearheaded by Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Democratic Sen. Cory Booker and Democratic Rep. Karen Bass. The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) were also involved in the bipartisan negotiations.
The executive order will include sections on establishment of an accountability database of officers fired for misconduct and a ban on chokeholds and a restriction on no knock warrants at the federal level. Anti-bias training is expected to be included as well.
The federal government has not succeeded in enacting police reform in the two years since Floyd died while he was being arrested in May 2020. Chauvin, knelt on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes, while Floyd complained that he couldn't breathe. Three other police officers were involved in his death and found guilty earlier this year of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care. Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and 1/2 years for Floyd's murder.
While the federal government does not have the power under the Constitution to enact laws that can directly change policing by state or municipal law enforcement, if Congress were to pass reforms, it would have the power to incentivize states and municipalities with federal grants, making funds available by requiring changes to be implemented.
The actions taken by the Justice Department, which won't affect state or municipal police forces, dictate that in federal policing, deadly force may not be used solely for the purpose of preventing the escape of a fleeing suspect and firearms may not be discharged from a moving vehicle in most situations.
Notably, the memo directs officers to "recognize and act upon" their duty to reasonably intervene and stop "any officer from engaging in the excessive force or any other use of force that violates the Constitution, other federal laws," or other polices.
Now, federal law enforcement officers will be trained in this kind of intervention and will also receive instruction in de-escalation tactics to help them secure compliance from an individual before force is needed.
"When feasible, reducing the need for force allows officers to secure their own safety as well as the safety of the public," the memo says.
The memo's mandate takes effect on July 19, and each law enforcement agency under the Justice Department's purview and will appoint leaders to implement the reforms.