Two years ago today, a 46 year-old Black man named George Floyd was handcuffed and pinned on the ground by a police officer’s knee, which resulted in his murder being captured on video and witnessed around the globe. It is a sobering anniversary for the many in our country who saw ourselves reflected in George Floyd, and for the even more of us who came away mobilized to join the anti-racism movement.
In recognition of today’s anniversary, the White House signed an Executive Order that reforms certain policing standards and policies, with the aim of preventing even more senseless deaths. Included in this Executive Order are two components that we at SFI have long been calling for: restrictions on both the use of no-knock warrants and the transfer of military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the order implements preventions against the recruitment of officers who promote unlawful violence or white supremacy.
We join the voices of our many coalition partners across diverse demographics, geography, and specialty in celebrating this Executive Order. It will help steer our country’s police forces away from using militarized tactics and equipment, which have disproportionately harmed Black and brown communities across America (including Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot in her Louisville apartment on March 13, 2020). As military families, we are particularly grateful that the blurred lines between domestic law enforcement and military service members will be further clarified by these policies.
SFI continues to encourage policy solutions that prevent domestic violent extremism from gaining traction within our society – from our military to our law enforcement. We testified along these lines before Congress in March, and we commend today’s Executive Order for including screening tools toward this end.
We will continue to call on Congress to take more permanent legislative action on these issues. But in the meantime, we commend this interim step.