Trump says he is 'finalizing' executive order to address policing

The president, who has struggled to provide any policy responses to George Floyd's death, said the order would ensure police meet "current professional standards for the use of force" but did not offer details.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Lauren Egan

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he was finalizing an executive order that encourages police departments to meet "current professional standards for the use of force" as political pressure mounts for police reform after the death of George Floyd, but he offered few details on what his order would include.

The recommendations will encourage "tactics for de-escalation," Trump said at a roundtable event with faith leaders, law enforcement officials and small-business owners at Gateway Church in Dallas.

"Also, we'll encourage pilot programs that allow social workers to join certain law enforcement officers so that they work together," Trump said.

Full coverage of George Floyd's death and protests around the country

Trump said he would not consider activists' calls to defund the police.

"We'll take care of our police. We're not defunding police. If anything, we're going the other route. We're going to make sure that our police are well-trained, perfectly trained, they have the best equipment," Trump said, adding that he preferred "dominating the streets with compassion."

Trump said that in addition to the executive order, he plans to address economic development in minority communities, health care disparities in minority communities and school choice.

Trump did not say how he would address such broad policy topics.

While other lawmakers from both parties have introduced various policy changes to address police misconduct and discrimination, the White House has struggled to find a political and policy response.

Trump has stressed to aides that it is important to keep most of the law enforcement community on board with whatever reforms the White House proposes, according to administration officials.

Trump again praised law enforcement's response to the protests that have taken over the country in the past two weeks, saying officers' dispersing of crowds "was like a knife cutting butter."

"And yes, there was some tear gas and probably some other things," Trump said.

Trump is expected to attend a private fundraiser in Dallas before heading to his Bedminster, New Jersey, property.

Caroline Vakil contributed.