WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order Wednesday afternoon aimed at putting new limits on federal law enforcement, to mark the second anniversary of George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis Police officer.
The order would have the Justice Department and other federal law enforcement agencies create a database of officer misconduct, limit chokeholds and no-knock warrants as well as mandate body cameras for officers, according to a fact sheet released by the White House.
Those echo some provisions at the heart of months of bipartisan Senate talks over a House-passed policing bill, which officially ran out of steam in September when negotiators failed to reach a version that could overcome Republican opposition to pass the Senate.
Biden campaigned on addressing police misconduct on his way to the White House and promised executive action last year after those talks fell apart.
For the last two years, policing, race and justice have become some of the most contentious issues in American politics. Floyd’s death led to protests and unrest nationwide after a video showed Officer Derek Chauvin placing his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes despite Floyd saying he couldn’t breathe.
Democrats and Republicans pushed competing bills in the wake of Floyd’s killing, then blamed each other when Congress passed nothing.
In a call with reporters describing some details of the order, senior administration officials told reporters that Biden’s order is necessary to restore trust in communities that have been targeted by police excesses.
“Without that trust, victims don’t call for help, witnesses do not step forward, crimes go unsolved, and justice is not served. Simply put, more just policing makes our communities safer,” a senior administration official said.
The order would have the Justice Department create a national database for police officer misconduct, which would be mandatory for federal law enforcement agencies. A national database that would apply to state and local law enforcement agencies was a key part of the House-passed policing bill.
“This would be a really big deal for purposes of meaningful reform,” a senior administration official said.