President Wiggum Signs Executive Order Giving Cops Free Tanks If They Only Kill Black People *Sometimes*
Black people who are conscious, so obviously not Ben Carson, didn't expect much from Donald Trump regarding police reform, and Tuesday he delivered a big bag of insulting nothing in the form of a feckless executive order. We're going to miss that reliably racist consistency from the president after he's beaten in November like a drum that looked at a cop funny.
Trump kissed the asses of law enforcement and their
protection rackets police unions during his pointless Rose Garden ceremony. He claimed law enforcement is "underfunded, understaffed and under [supported]," which is only true if you ignore math.
TRUMP: Americans want law and order. They demand law and order. They may not say it, they may not be talking about it, but that's what they want.
A majority of Americans say they want police reform, but he just knows they really want more “domination" in the streets. Trump has documented issues with consent, but this is repulsive.
The president never mentioned “racism" and insisted that cops are wonderful except for the ones who brutalize and kill people and the rest who are OK with it.
TRUMP: [Bad cops are] very tiny. I use the word tiny.
“Tiny" was apparently on his “word of the day" calendar. He was so proud of himself.
TRUMP: It's a very small percentage. But nobody wants to get rid of them more than the really good and great police officers.
I don't want to beat this point to death, like it's an old man who got too close to a cop half his age, but “really good and great" police officers — or at least the ones who haven't recently broken a Black woman's collarbone — consistently support the worst actions of their colleagues.
What police reform could look like as Trump signs executive order | Nightline www.youtube.com
Philadelphia Police Staff Inspector Joseph Bologna was caught on video beating a Temple University student upside the head at a protest. Bologna was charged with aggravated assault, but a crowd of officers gathered outside their union headquarters to show their support. The
wiseguys union released a statement declaring it "will not stand-by and watch Inspector Bologna get railroaded."
Buffalo police applauded officers who were charged with assaulting Martin Gugino, a 75-year-old peace activist. It was like they were waiting outside the stage door of a Broadway show about cops who critically injure old men.
Sure, members of the Minneapolis Police Department condemned Derek Chauvin last week, but they made a point of saying they weren't speaking for the “union or the administration." There are 800,000 police officers in America, so it seems like it's the “very small percentage" who speak out against the most egregious attacks against civilians. They also are rarely the people in power who could make a difference in training and actual policy.
Trump claimed we need to bring police and communities “closer together," which is the opposite of keeping people safe from police brutality. His executive order is deliberately toothless. For instance, it bans chokeholds unless the officer's “life is in danger," but cops always think their lives are in danger. We're lucky everyone who works at Shake Shack wasn't put in choke holds yesterday.
Trump’s executive order is toothless and meaningless. We don’t need studies, we need police that commit crimes to b… https://t.co/yZheaXV01e— Reverend Al Sharpton (@Reverend Al Sharpton)1592326087.0
The president's order will create a database of police officers with multiple instances of misconduct, but it's not like they'll lose their jobs or anything, so it's more like Tinder for cops. There are also supposedly “incentives" for officers who manage not to murder anyone. The threat of prison is sufficient for most of us without badges. We don't need a free toaster or anything.
Before his Rose Garden photo op, Trump met with several families whose loved ones died in what he called “deadly interactions with police."
TRUMP: I gave a commitment to all of those families today with Sen. Tim Scott, Attorney General Bill Barr ... We are going to pursue what we said we are going to be pursuing it. We will be pursuing it strongly.
Yeah, there's no telling what will come from such a commitment. Trump later lied and claimed, "President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their eight-year period. The reason they didn't try is because they had no idea how to do it."
Trump's claim is "absolutely wrong," Samuel Walker, an expert on policing policy and a professor emeritus of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said Tuesday.
Obama's Department of Justice initiated "pattern-or-practice" investigations into troubled police departments and secured court-enforceable consent decrees or other agreements in which cities including Baltimore, Cleveland, Portland and Miami formally agreed to make changes.
In the last month of Obama's presidency, the Department of Justice reported that "since 2009, the Civil Rights Division has opened 25 investigations into law enforcement agencies and is currently enforcing 19 agreements, including 14 consent decrees and one post-judgment order."
There's a reason cops didn't like Obama. He tried to hold them accountable.
Trump also claimed that there's an AIDS vaccine. There isn't. We looked it up. But at least he didn't accuse Obama or Biden of inventing AIDS, which was a rare show of restraint.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."