Improve, Not Defund, the Police

President Trump Works with Sen. Tim Scott to Introduce Police Reforms

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“I strongly oppose the radical, dangerous efforts to dismantle, defund and dissolve our police departments, especially since we have achieved the lowest crime rates in recent history….Americans know that without the police there is chaos, without law there is anarchy and without safety there is catastrophe.” –President Donald Trump

The President and Senate Republicans unveiled police reforms this week: an “Good Start” Executive Order on Tuesday and proposals for a bill in the Senate on Wednesday.

  • The President’s order provides incentives to police departments that adopt best practices.
  • Certification – federal funding will only be given to law enforcement agencies that meet high standards for use-of-force and de-escalation, with credentials given by reputable independent bodies. Chokeholds are banned unless an officer’s life is at risk.
  • Database creation – allows federal, state, and local law enforcement to track terminations, criminal convictions, and civil judgments against law enforcement officers
  • Training – allocates funds for police and social workers who respond to incidents involving the mentally ill, addicted, and homeless.

Action in the Senate

The Justice Act, authored by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), was announced on Wednesday. It requires nationwide reporting of all officer-related deaths and encourages the use of body-cams. In an effort to reach out to House Democrats, the Senate bill also makes lynching a hate crime, funds a study of the social status of black men and boys, and creates a law enforcement training curriculum on the history of racism in America. It also closes a loophole to prohibit federal officers from engaging in sexual acts with suspects being arrested or in custody.

  • Provisions of the bill withhold federal funds from departments that allow:
  • Chokeholds (which have already been abandoned by many departments)
  • Certain types of “no-knock” warrants
  • Non-reporting of “no-knock” warrants

Former DC police Chief Charles Ramsey said on CNN that these are “very positive moves in the right direction.” He believes people can come together for something that’s workable and can make a difference.

Just Get it Done

On Tuesday, President Trump also met with several families of black people killed by police. There were no cameras in the room. He later told reporters, “These are incredible people and it’s so sad… Many of these families lost their loved ones in deadly interactions with police. To all of the hurting families, I want you to know that all Americans mourn by your side. Your loved ones will not have died in vain. We are one nation. We grieve together and we heal together.” He also shared with them Romans 8:28: all things work together for good to those who love Christ Jesus.

Sen. Scott, who sat down with the family members in a separate meeting, said the President was all about finding justice. Referring to “Good Start,” Scott said Trump instructed the Department of Justice to “get it done; don’t tell me you’re going to do it, just get it done.”

Big mistake? Speaker Pelosi and other House Democrats took a knee in honor of George Floyd and to protest racism in America. They donned scarves of a pattern particular to a tribe in Ghana.

  • The “kente cloth” of the scarves belongs to a tribe famous for selling other blacks into slavery.
  • When criticized, Democrats pushed back, saying the significance goes beyond the slave trade to respecting history.
  • These are the same people who want to rename US military bases and remove any references to the Confederacy.

Why this Matters: Police misconduct and brutality is not new. Yet, nothing happened to remedy this problem under eight years of the Obama Administration—there were no attempts to ban chokeholds or implement any notable reforms. Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats say the Republicans’ efforts are not enough and the bill is “too soft.” They are working on their own legislation.

In 2016, President Trump asked the black community to give him a try as President. “What have you got to lose?” he asked. The community has responded and 41 percent approve of his performance–a significant gain versus the eight percent who voted for him in 2016. This does not bode well for Democrat candidate Joe Biden, who clinched the nomination in South Carolina, due largely to the black community.

The area taken over by protesters in Seattle, originally called CHAZ, has been renamed CHOP: Capitol Hill Organized Protest

Other Good News

  • City officials in Seattle have begun to reclaim portions of CHAZ—now CHOP—the seven-block area taken over by protestors a week ago. It has been reduced to just three blocks that are now inside concrete barriers. The Seattle Police have been instructed by Mayor Jenny Durkan not to enter the zone unless there is an active shooter, an assault, a structure fire, or significant medical emergency. The area is said to be a dichotomy: activists with a cause versus “summer of love”-type stoned or inebriated vagrants. 
  • Retail Sales surged nearly 18 percent in May, much better than predictions, even with some states still in shutdown mode.
  • Most major manufacturing industries posted increases in May, with the largest gain in auto production: up 82 percent.
  • One million tickets have been requested for the Trump rally in Tulsa, OK on June 20. Lawsuits were brought in order to stop the rally based on “Covid” concerns and to enforce social distancing, but were rejected by the court. An email from the Trump campaign advised that rally goers will have their temperature checked, and receive a face mask and hand sanitizer.

How to Pray: Ask the Father to stir up the cause of righteousness that good legislation would be passed by both Houses and signed by the President. Pray for healing in our nation among every segment. Pray for law enforcement officers’ protection. 

Psalm 140:11 – Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
Proverbs 15:22 – Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

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