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For Immediate Release

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Press Release

Biden Executive Order on Police Reform Falls Short of Meaningful Change

Administration Must Strengthen EO & Work with Congress to Advance Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act (H.R. 6877) and the Demilitarizing Local Law Enforcement Act of 2021 (H.R. 3227)
WASHINGTON -

In response to President Biden today, on the two-year anniversary of George Floyd’s horrific killing at the hands of police, signing an executive order on police reform at the federal level, Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement:

“President Biden’s executive order on police reform fails to fully address the scope of the issue facing our communities and provide the kind of meaningful action that is needed to prevent such tragedies—as what we saw with George Floyd and so many others—from continuing to occur.

While it limits no-knock entries, it does not outright end the practice of militarized raids, like the one that killed Breonna Taylor, which can be just as deadly and are extremely common in drug enforcement. While it places restrictions on programs that facilitate the transfer of military equipment to state and local law enforcement, it does not altogether put an end to such programs. And while it recognizes the dangers of facial recognition technology—which has been shown to disproportionately harm communities of color—and calls for a study on its impacts, it does not even do anything to stop the practice during the study.

We are calling on the Biden Administration to act swiftly to strengthen this executive order and work with Congress to pass the Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act (H.R. 6877) and the Demilitarizing Local Law Enforcement Act of 2021 (H.R. 3227) to abolish the practice of providing surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Congress to ensure comprehensive reform that will truly protect our communities and ensure dignity and respect for Black, Latinx and Indigenous lives.”

We urge the Biden Administration and Congress to build upon this executive order and work with impacted communities to enact meaningful police reforms, including:

  • Strengthening protections against dangerous drug raids, including prohibiting entries without meaningful notice as described here;
  • Ending military transfer programs like the Department of Defense’s 1033 and 1122 Programs;
  • Implementing a moratorium on facial recognition technology until the National Academy of Sciences publishes its study;
  • Supporting non-police crisis-response teams, instead of armed police, to respond to 911 calls involving suspected drug use or intoxication and creating clear policies and guidelines of when police should get involved.

###

The Drug Policy Alliance is the nation’s leading organization promoting drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

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