Biden Order on Policing a First Step Toward Justice

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, President Biden signed an executive order on police accountability and the transfer of military equipment yesterday which includes policy changes for which Human Rights First has advocated.

“This executive order is a first step toward acknowledging and rectifying the racial injustice, terror, and human rights abuses that have been embedded in our criminal justice system,” said Chris Purdy, Director of Veterans for American Ideals and Outreach at Human Rights First.  “We look forward to the implementation of these changes, are eager to see states adopt similar standards, and will continue to advocate for further reforms from the federal government.”

Human Rights First advocated for meaningful reforms to initiatives like the “1033” and “1122” programs that bring military equipment into our communities.

“When weapons of war are procured by local municipalities for routine law enforcement, the result is not safer streets, but a higher risk of lethal incidents for both police officers and the communities they’re sworn to protect,” added Purdy.  “Limiting the flow of war equipment to local American communities is a welcome first step.”

The order includes the requirement that local governments inform their communities of requests for military equipment from the federal government. Unlike the legislation, the order does not extend the new restrictions and requirements to transfers to federal law enforcement agencies. The order also includes most of the provisions in Congressman Hank Johnson’s (D-GA) Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act and language included in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which Human Rights First previously endorsed.

The Biden administration has acted to reform some of the practices that have unjustly targeted communities of color across the country but falls woefully short in addressing the problem within federal law enforcement agencies. We urge Congress to act on meaningful police reform, starting with the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.


Published on September 19, 2022


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