Connect with us

Politics

Trump’s Executive Order on Police Reforms Falls Short of Protesters’ Demands

Published

on

Source: Yahoo! News

  • President Donald Trump signed an executive order to address police reform, which among other changes, will create a national registry of officers with credible allegations of excessive use-of-force against them.
  • The order encourages local departments to send in mental health professionals with armed officers to respond to non-violent crimes.
  • It also bans the use of chokeholds, unless an officer’s life is threatened, a caveat that some have said lacks meaningful change.
  • But critics say the order does not meet the demands of protesters, who have called for major police reform, including defunding or abolishing police departments.

Trump Executive Order

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday in response to recent and massive calls from protesters to defund the police; however, Trump’s order falls far short of their demands. 

The order is shaped by several measures, including setting financial incentives for police departments to meet certain standards on the use of force. If those departments meet those standards, they’ll be given access to federal grant money.

It will create a national registry for tracking officers with credible abuses so that those officers don’t simply go from one department to the next. This will be meant to track officers with multiple instances of excessive use-of-force.

It encourages mental health professionals to be utilized by departments and sent on some nonviolent calls. That provision is largely geared toward calls relating to mental health, homelessness, and addiction. Unlike many protesters’ calls, social workers would not handle those situations on their own; rather, they would be sent along with uniformed police officers.

Trump also said that his order would specifically ban police chokeholds unless an officer’s life was in danger. That provision has been met with criticism, with people like Reverend Al Sharpton, who argued that police officers who use chokeholds already justify them by saying their lives were threatened.

In addition to Sharpton’s criticism, others have noted that Trump’s order does not address larger concerns about systemic racism and racial profiling within law enforcement. In fact, in his address prior to signing the order, Trump dismissed the idea of defunding or abolishing police.

“I strongly oppose the radical and dangerous efforts to defund, dismantle and dissolve our police departments…” he said. “Americans know the truth: Without police, there is chaos. Without law, there is anarchy. And without safety, there is catastrophe.”

Following that comment, Trump praised police, calling the “vast majority” of officers “selfless and courageous public servants.”

“Nobody is more opposed to the small number of bad policers—and you have them, they are very tiny—but nobody wants to get rid of them more than the overwhelming number of really good and great police officers.” 

Trump’s order is meant to serve as a precursor for more changes expected to be enacted by Congress, though it is likely Trump and Republicans will butt heads with Democrats on how drastically to enact changes.

Some Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have said Trump’s order does not go far enough.

House Democrats have proposed a sweeping reform package that is soon expected to hit the main floor. That bill would ban police chokeholds, ease qualified immunity laws that prevent victims of police violence from suing officers and departments, create a national database of police misconduct, and require police to report data on the use of force.

Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans are encouraging local departments to ban chokeholds rather than outright banning them nationally. The issue of qualified immunity will also likely be a red line in the sand for Republicans.

On Sunday, Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said that ending qualified immunity is “off the table,” adding that “any poison pill in legislation means we get nothing done.” 

U.S. Cities Announce Police Reforms

In a local scope, several cities across the country have already begun to enact or propose legislation that would lead to police reform. In many cases, those proposals have directly protesters’ calling for defunding or abolishing police departments. 

On June 7, Minneapolis’ city council voted to dismantle the city’s police department and make a new system for public safety. Last Thursday, Louisville’s city council unanimously voted to ban “no-knock” warrants, also requiring city police to wear body cameras when serving warrants.

Monday night in Baltimore, the city council voted to slash next year’s police budget by $22 million dollars. That’s now headed to the mayor’s desk.

The New York City Council has unveiled a list of proposals that would slash $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion dollar budget. Among those proposals include eliminating overtime, removing the School Safety Division from the NYPD’s purview, and reducing uniform headcount

NYPD Disbands Anti-Crime Units

Also in New York City, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Monday that he would be disbanding the NYPD’s anti-crime units. 

Those units are made up of plainclothes teams that target violent crime, but notably, they have been involved in some of the city’s most notorious police shootings.

Because of that, Shea said these plainclothes units were part of an outdated policing mode, saying they too often pitted officers against their communities. He also called them a remnant of the city’s stop-and-frisk policies, which had disproportionately affected people of color. 

Shea went on to say that because the NYPD now depends more on intelligence gathering and technology to fight crime, it “can move away from brute force.”

Regarding the roughly 600 officers who serve in those units, Shea said they will be immediately reassigned to other duties such as the detective bureau and the department’s neighborhood policing initiative; however,  plainclothes units that work in the city’s transit system will remain, as well as plainclothes units in other divisions of the NYPD.

Still, many said the NYPD needed to continue to go further with its changes. 

“For this change to have any meaningful impact on how communities experience policing in N.Y.C., these former anti-crime officers will need to change the way they police communities of color, and nothing the commissioner said gives me any confidence that the N.Y.P.D. has a plan to make sure that happens,” Darius Charney, a staff lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, said. 

Others such as Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, criticized this move in general, saying:

“Anti-crime’s mission was to protect New Yorkers by proactively preventing crime, especially gun violence. Shooting and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have clearly decided that proactive policing isn’t a priority anymore.” 

Albuquerque To Add New Safety Department

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mayor Tim Keller on Monday announced plans to create a new city department to focus on community safety.

That department is designed to be an alternative option to dispatching police or firefighters and paramedics if someone calls 911. It would be made up of social workers and other civilian professionals who would focus on situations involving violence prevention, mental health, and homelessness.

The idea of the new agency is to dispatch the right resources depending on the nature of the call. For example, police officers would be dispatched for a reported violent crime, while social workers would be dispatched to handle non-violent crimes and social needs.

The idea of having mental health professionals respond to calls like this has actually been one of the big rallying points for protesters, with many arguing that police should not be responding to those types of calls.

“It is fascinating that given all the challenges in America over the last 100 years on a number of fronts, when it comes to public safety we still just think there’s two departments—police and fire—in every city,” Keller told the Associated Press. “I think fundamentally this could be a new model for how we look at public safety response in cities across the country.”

Still, Keller’s plan has faced pushback because it’s still unknown exactly where the money is coming from to fund this new department or how much will be needed.

According to The Washington Post, city staff will review budgets for multiple departments, including the police, to find “tens of millions of dollars” to fund the new agency. In fact, the city’s already identified 10% of the city’s $300 million public safety budget, two-thirds of which goes to the police department. 

However, Keller has promised that he won’t take money away from core police work or court-mandated reforms already underway. 

Keller also said this new department won’t change “any of our approach with respect to addressing crime from all sides, and that also including hiring more officers. We have to do that.” 

That’s why some, including a senior policy strategist with the ACLU of New Mexico, have said that this plan isn’t really a mission to defund the police. 

“While we appreciate the efforts of the mayor to set up a system where it decreases the likelihood of armed police officials responding to calls, how is it going to be funded and will it have a strong mechanism of accountability?” that strategist, Barron Jones, said.

Three Major California Police Unions Propose Reforms

In California, police unions for the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose have unveiled plans for a reform agenda.

Notably, that would include finding racist police officers to “root those individuals out of the law enforcement profession.”

Their plan also calls for the creation of a national database of former police officers who were fired for gross misconduct to keep other agencies from hiring them.

Among other things, those unions are calling for ongoing and frequent training of police officers as well as the creation of a national use-of-force standard.

Within these cities themselves, San Francisco Mayor London Breed has proposed major changes to SFPD’s responsibilities, saying she wants them to stop responding to issues like disputes between neighbors, reports about homeless people, and school discipline interventions. 

Breed has also directed the police department to write a policy banning the use of military-grade weapons against unarmed civilians. For example, weapons like tear gas, bayonets, and tanks.

The city has also recently banned choke holds and required officers to intervene if they see other officers engaging in excessive force.

In LA, the city council is actually expected to meet today to discuss a proposal that would slash $100 to $150 million from the LAPD’s budget for next fiscal year.

See what others are saying: (KOAT) (Axios) (The Washington Post)

Politics

Trump Mocks Florida Gov. “Ron DeSanctimonious” Ahead of Possible 2024 Bid

Published

on

The former president may announce a bid to take back the White House on Nov. 14, according to his inner circle.


Trump Concocts His Latest Nickname

From “Little Marco” and “Lyin’ Ted” to “Sleepy Joe” and “Crazy Bernie,” former president Donald Trump’s nicknames for his political opponents have been known for their punchy style, but Republicans found it hard to swallow his latest mouthful for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“We’re winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody’s ever seen before,” he said Saturday at a rally in Pennsylvania. “Trump at 71, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10%.”

The former president drew rebuke from some allies and conservative commentators for driving a wedge through the GOP three days before the midterm elections.

“DeSantis is an extremely effective conservative governor who has had real policy wins and real cultural wins,” tweeted The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh. “Trump isn’t going to be able to take this one down with a dumb nickname. He better have more than that up his sleeve.”

“What an idiot,” wrote Rod Dreher, a senior editor at The American Conservative. “DeSantis is a far more effective leader of the Right than Trump was, if, that is, you expect a leader to get a lot done, rather than just talking about it and owning the libs.”

In April 2021, Trump said he would “certainly” consider making DeSantis his running mate for a potential 2024 presidential bid. But as DeSantis established himself as a credible rival to Trump, their relationship grew colder.

Last September, sources told The Washington Post that Trump had called DeSantis “ungrateful” in conversations with advisors. The former president reportedly had not spoken with the governor in months.

The Party of Trump or DeSantis?

One day after his “DeSanctimonious” jab, Trump took to the stage in Florida to support Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R) reelection campaign but grabbed more attention when he seemed to endorse DeSantis for governor.

“The people of Florida are going to reelect the wonderful, the great friend of mine, Marco Rubio to the United States Senate, and you’re going to reelect Ron DeSantis as your governor of your state,” he said to the cheering crowd.

The brief moment of support was overshadowed, however, by the conspicuous absence of DeSantis himself.

Both men held competing, contemporaneous rallies in the same state hundreds of miles apart, and multiple sources told Politico that DeSantis was not invited to Trump’s event, nor did he ask to attend.

The governor has repeatedly refused to say whether he will make a run for the presidency in 2024, but national polling consistently puts Trump ahead of him among Republicans by a wide margin.

Some recent polls, however, have shown DeSantis to lead the former president in specific states like Florida and New Hampshire.

A survey last month found that 72% of GOP voters believe DeSantis should have a great or good deal of influence in the future direction of the party, while just 64% said the same about Trump.

Sources told Axios that Trump’s inner circle is discussing a Nov. 14 announcement for his presidential campaign, timing it to capitalize on the expected post-midterm euphoria as vote counts roll in.

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Fox News) (Politico)

Continue Reading

Politics

The Midterms Are Tomorrow, But We May Not Have Results for a While. Here’s What You Need to Know

Published

on

The counting of mail-in ballots and possible legal challenges will almost certainly slow the final results.


Election Delays Expected

As Americans gear up for Election Day on Nov. 8, experts are warning that many races, including some of the most highly anticipated ones, may not have the final results in for days or even weeks.

These delays are completely normal and do not indicate that election fraud or issues with vote counting took place. However, like in 2020, former President Donald Trump and other election-denying Republicans could seize on the slow-coming returns to promote false claims to that effect.

There are a number of very legitimate reasons why it could take some time before the final results are solidified.  Each state has different rules for carrying out the election process, like when polls close and when ballots can start being counted.

There are also varying rules for when mail-in ballots can be received and counted that can extend when those votes will be tallied. That lag could seriously skew early results in many places because there has been a major rise in the number of people voting by mail.

Red Mirage, Blue Mirage

One very important thing to note is that the early returns seen on election night may not be representative of the final outcomes. 

In 2020, there was a lot of talk about a “red mirage,” which is when ballots cast on election day and favoring Republicans are reported first while mail-in ballots used more by Democrats are counted later, creating the appearance that Republicans have a much wider lead.

That phenomenon may very well take place in several key battlegrounds that not only could decide the House and the Senate but also have incredibly consequential state-wide elections of their own.

For example, in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, election officials cannot start counting mail-in and absentee ballots until Election Day. 

Some experts have also speculated that a similar occurrence could occur in Georiga because the suburbs — which have shifted blue in recent years — report their results later than rural counties.

At the same time, there are also some states where the opposite might happen: a blue mirage that makes it seem like Democrats are doing better than they actually are.

Such a scenario is possible in Arizona, where election officials can process mail-in ballots as soon as they receive them, and where a similar trend played out in 2020.

Other Possible Slow-Downs

Beyond all that, there are a number of other factors that could delay when results are finalized.

For example, in Georgia, candidates need to get at least 50% of the vote to win, and if none do, then the top two are sent to a run-off election on Dec. 6. That is a very real possibility for the state’s closely-watched Senate race because there is a libertarian on the ballot who could siphon enough votes from Republican Herschel Walker and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock to keep them both below the 50% threshold. 

In other words: if control of the Senate comes down to Georgia again — as it did in 2020 and which is a very real possibility — voters may not know the outcome until a month after the election.

Meanwhile, experts also say that legal battles over mail-in ballots could further delay results, or even go to the Supreme Court. According to The New York Times, before Election Day, over 100 lawsuits had already been filed.

In Pennsylvania, for example, the State Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of a lawsuit from Republican groups requesting that mail-in ballots that did not have dates on outer envelopes be invalidated, causing thousands of ballots to be set aside. Multiple rights groups are now suing to get that decision reversed. 

See what others are saying: (NPR) (ABC News) (Reuters)

Continue Reading

Politics

DHS Confirms Paul Pelosi Attacker is a Canadian National in the U.S. Illegally

Published

on

The suspect espoused many political conspiracy theories promoted by the American far-right and told investigators he wished to harm House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to send a message to other U.S. politicians.


Pelosi Attacker’s Immigration Issues

The man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi and trying to kidnap House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) is a Canadian national currently residing in the United States illegally, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) late Wednesday.

Law enforcement officials say the suspect embraced far-right conspiracies about U.S. politicians and told investigators he wanted to break the House Speaker’s kneecaps as a lesson to other members of Congress. 

Despite his lack of citizenship, the man also allegedly told police he was on a “suicide mission” and had a list of state and federal lawmakers he wanted to target.

In its statement to the media, DHS said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had lodged a “detainer” on the suspect, which is a notice the agency intends to take custody of an individual who could be deported and requests it be notified before that person is released. The detainer, however, likely will not impact the case against him, because deportations are civil proceedings that happen after criminal cases are resolved.

According to several reports, federal records indicate the suspect came to the U.S. legally via Mexico in March 2008. Canadians who travel to America for business or pleasure are usually able to stay in the country for six months without a visa. DHS told The Washington Post the Canadian citizen was admitted as a “temporary visitor” traveling for pleasure.

Before the confirmation from DHS, there was some mixed reporting on how long the suspected attacker has been in America. On Monday, an anonymous U.S. official told the Associated Press the man had legally entered in 2000 but stayed way after his visa expired.

One day later, The New York Times reported he was registered to vote in San Francisco County from 2002 to 2009, and even voted once in 2002. 

Heightened Security Concerns

The new revelation comes as lawmakers are facing increased threats, prompting conversations about safety and security with a specific focus on the role of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP).

On Tuesday, multiple outlets reported that USCP security cameras trained on the Pelosi’s house actually captured the attack, but no one was watching. In a statement Wednesday, the agency said its command center has access to around 1,800 cameras and not all are watched constantly.

The Capitol Police also said that the Pelosi’s home is “actively” monitored “around the clock” when the Speaker is there, but not when she is in Washington.

As a result, many argued that there should be more security and surveillance for the second person in line for the presidency — especially given the threat of violence after the Jan. 6 insurrection and warnings from law enforcement ahead of the midterms.

That was echoed in a scathing letter yesterday sent to Capitol Police by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca.), who is one of the most senior Democrats in Congress and heads the Administration Committee.

In her letter, Lofgren noted that the agency “has previously reported to the committee that the speaker receives the most threats of any member of Congress,” and asked why that protection was not extended “to the spouses and/or other family members of the congressional leaders in the presidential line of succession.”

She questioned why the USCP had turned down an offer from the FBI for some of its officers to be part of terrorism task forces investigating threats against Congressmembers and why it had not made a formal agreement with San Francisco police for a car to be posted at the Pelosi’s home 24-hours a day as had been done in the months after Jan. 6.

Lofgren also inquired why the Capitol Police did not direct more threats against lawmakers for prosecution. She noted that members of Congress received at least 9,625 threats in 2021, but just 217 were referred.

Editor’s Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murders, suspected mass murderers, or those accused of committing violent crimes who may have been seeking attention or infamy. Therefore, we will not be linking to other sources, as they may contain these details.

Continue Reading