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Trump signs EO on policing amid calls for reform

Washington: President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on policing amid calls for action against police brutality and racism.

It comes three weeks after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which has triggered nationwide demonstrations.

 The executive order focuses on three areas: credentialing and certifying police officers; boosting information sharing to track officers accused of excessive use of force; and creating co-responder programs on mental health, drug addiction, and homelessness.

It also said police departments must “prohibit the use of chokeholds — a physical maneuver that restricts an individual’s ability to breathe for the purposes of incapacitation — except in those situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law.”

Trump, speaking at the White House before signing the executive order, stressed that he “strongly” opposes efforts to defund or dismantle police departments, calling the ideas “radical.”

“Without police, there is chaos. Without law, there is anarchy and without safety, there is catastrophe,” he said.

The move from the White House comes alongside separate efforts on Capitol Hill focused on police reforms, the media reported.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said on Tuesday that Trump’s executive order is not enough.

“While the president has finally acknowledged the need for policing reform, one modest executive order will not make up for his years of inflammatory rhetoric and policies designed to roll back the progress made in previous years,” Schumer said in a statement.

Protests in response to Floyd’s death, and more broadly to police violence, spread across the United States and took place in some other countries.

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Latest News USA

Trump signs executive order on policing amid calls

Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on policing amid calls for action against police brutality and racism.

It comes three weeks after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which has triggered nationwide demonstrations.

The executive order focuses on three areas: credentialing and certifying police officers; boosting information sharing to track officers accused of excessive use of force; and creating co-responder programs on mental health, drug addiction, and homelessness.

It also said police departments must “prohibit the use of chokeholds — a physical maneuver that restricts an individual’s ability to breathe for the purposes of incapacitation — except in those situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law.”

Trump, speaking at the White House before signing the executive order, stressed that he “strongly” opposes efforts to defund or dismantle police departments, calling the ideas “radical.”

“Without police, there is chaos. Without law, there is anarchy and without safety, there is catastrophe,” he said.

The move from the White House comes alongside separate efforts on Capitol Hill focused on police reforms, the media reported.

The Democrat-led House introduced a bill last week that aims to ensure officers can be held accountable for misconduct and increase transparency. The Republican-led Senate is also creating its own legislative package that will focus on police reporting, accountability, training and relations.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said on Tuesday that Trump’s executive order is not enough.

“While the president has finally acknowledged the need for policing reform, one modest executive order will not make up for his years of inflammatory rhetoric and policies designed to roll back the progress made in previous years,” Schumer said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, this executive order will not deliver the comprehensive meaningful change and accountability in our nation’s police departments that Americans are demanding,” the New York Democrat added. “Congress needs to quickly pass strong and bold legislation with provisions that makes it easier to hold police officers accountable for abuses, and President Trump must commit to signing it into law.”

Floyd died during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota late last month after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Protests in response to Floyd’s death, and more broadly to police violence, spread across the United States and took place in some other countries.

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Minneapolis bids adieu to George Floyd

Minneapolis: Minneapolis bid farewell to George Floyd 10 days after his death in police custody which triggered the country’s largest racial justice protests of the 21st century.

Floyd’s funeral will take place in Texas on June 9, but on Thursday a memorial service was held in Minneapolis, the city in which he had lived for the past few years and where he was killed on May 25, reports Efe news.

“George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks. Because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed to be is you kept your knee on our neck,” Reverend Al Sharpton said in a eulogy.

Passersby made videos of the incident with their mobile phones that showed Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling with his full body weight on Floyd’s neck after he had been handcuffed and placed facedown on the pavement.

On Wednesday, the attorney general of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, said the charge against Chauvin has been upgraded to second-degree murder from the charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter levelled against him on May 29.

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Latest News New York

The Center Will Not Hold

By Kyle Singh

We are at an inflection point. 

The ruthless killing of yet another innocent African American has put the country on the edge. It has pushed people to anger and shock. It has made people cry and made people riot. It has made people stand with peace for an event that goes against the very fiber of this nation. At the same time it is clear that George Floyd’s death can be seen as a spark for a deeper conversation that has been long overdue. 

The protesters are first and foremost demanding justice. They are demanding that the blind lady of the law balances her scales accordingly. This should be the first priority, and rightfully so. If four civilians committed a crime of this magnitude, they would be locked up immediately. The fact that our institutions, especially those that protect the law, can somehow get away from the implementation of the law is alarming. It violates our principles as Americans. This is independent of Floyd’s race. At the same time, we all know that his race plays a role. We all know too well that had Floyd been of a different race, the situation may have ended up a lot differently. 

This is not something that takes much explaining to the average American. Yet, most of us have not had a full analysis of our  own biases. We all have them. It is a part of human nature. But I truly believe that a revitalization of our institutions, through legislation and constitutional amendments, can only come into fruition if we first undertake this task as people. We must sit down with ourselves and identify the way our biases manifest themselves in everyday life. Do we maintain the dignity of other peoples in our daily interactions with them? Do we truly see them as the same. This exercise must be done between all races and in relation to the cross interactions we observe between people from all walks of life. We must be honest with ourselves and be cautious of such dealings.

On the legislative front, for example, there are also practical systemic changes we can fight for. Officer Derek Chauvin, who killed Floyd,  had 18 prior complaints to his name. There is absolutely no justification for him being on the streets. Three justified and proven complaints should be more than enough to terminate any cop. Moreover, we should strive for a police force which is representative, geographically, of the communities that they serve. These are just a few of the pragmatic legislative goals we can strive for. 

We must also not ignore the deep inequities that have been manifested within the African American community itself. We must begin with the principle that each person has the potential to do incredible things. We should maintain the liberties of each person regardless of race, and advocate for their dignity. This means that we should advocate for equality of opportunity within such marginalized communities. Too often, governmental action has taken its toll on the African American community. Why do we have the case in which so many African American children, with just as much potential as the rest of the country, are subjected to poor schooling. This is because of the Government’s long track record of imposing inefficiencies in the quality of schooling based on the income of a particular neighborhood. There must be a better way. A way in which we can restore their freedom and standing in our society. 

The looting and rioting that have taken hold cannot be part of the solution. Such actions drown out the message I have articulated. If we wish to see the kind of deep intrinsic change we are fighting for, we must proceed with peace and patience. It is the only way. There is clear consensus on this. People’s lives are being destroyed. They have spent years building up their businesses. Those violent protesters should not take away from the cause. They do this in their selfishness. 

This brings me to the question of what we must do as a people. How we must respond. We must also adopt introspection as it pertains to our demographic. Our response to this, as Indian Americans, has remained the same as it has in the past. We can look at the precedent and easily point out our shortcomings. Many of us, and our parents, came here with little. We came here energized, inspired by the idea of this country. The idea that hard work, grit, and perseverance could lead to a life of prosperity. We believed in this cause, leaving everything we had in the country we once called home. That promise of equal opportunity. That promise of freedom and the American dream that has been fulfilled for so many of us should fire us up to rise up to the inequities we see in the African American community, as they have played out, and within other marginalized groups. We tend to be averse to risk as a people. It is time to take action. It is time to make the kind of change people can feel every single day. In some sense, we should treat these groups as our own, for it is likely that we have felt the inequities they are articulating at some point in our lives. We must only accept a nation in which our city upon the shining hill is accessible and open to us all.

kyle singh
thesatime | The Southasian times

Kyle Singh is a rising senior at Columbia University and considering run for local office in Long Island in the coming cycle.

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