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For Immediate Release

Press Release

President Biden’s Executive Order on Police Reform Is a Baseline to Address Toxic Policing

WASHINGTON -

Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, issued the following statement in response to the news that President Biden will issue an executive order to increase police accountability on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder: 

“For far too long, the lack of accountability, transparency and consequences from law enforcement has created a dangerous environment for Black people and our communities. From Rodney King to George Floyd, Eric Garner to Tamir Rice, we have borne witness to these senseless killings, all because police departments have been allowed to surveil our communities, violate laws, and cause grave harm without any system of accountability. This violent institution has been used as a tool of political oppression to silence Black people and maintain the status quo of white supremacy for hundreds of years. President Biden’s executive order — issued on the two-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder and the 26th birthday of Kalief Browder —  is a welcome first step towards establishing a baseline for addressing the country’s toxic culture of policing and lack of accountability for officers and police departments. 

This executive order is the legacy of the tireless activism of racial justice and civil leaders. It’s a clear product of the largest protest movement in American history: the 2020 racial justice uprisings that demanded police accountability following the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. While the order sets necessary baseline standards of record-keeping, accountability and acceptable police behavior for federal law enforcement agencies, we can and must do so much more. It’s important that the federal government create a robust plan of implementation that includes community stakeholders and civil rights leaders. It is critical that state and local police agencies and policymakers advance more robust accountability measures that extend far beyond the floor set by this executive order. This is the only way to ensure that Black and brown communities that are most harmed by state-sanctioned violence are protected.  

We acknowledge this important and historic action by President Biden, and look forward to working with the administration on the implementation of the executive order, but are disappointed that this is the only leadership we are seeing in Washington on this issue. Congress has categorically failed on tackling problems in policing and shaping the future of public safety. We can no longer accept this lack of action and direction. We can also no longer tolerate the outsize impact corporate-funded police foundations and racist police unions have on our public safety system. 

Our lives remain at stake, which is why we must build on today’s announcement to pressure lawmakers at the federal, state, and local levels for change. It is imperative that we enact community-centered policies that move us away from the old model of policing and work to build a new paradigm, one that remakes public safety to ensure Black people feel protected and centers community-led investments and alternatives to policing. Our communities know what makes them safe —  it’s time that lawmakers listen to us.”

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Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over one million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

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