FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2022
Contact: Dena L. Craig, [email protected] 

Biden’s Policing Executive Order Brings Greater Accountability 

WASHINGTON— Maya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights issued the following statement on President Biden’s Executive Order to Advance Effective, Accountable Policing and Strengthen Public Safety:

 “Two years ago, George Floyd was brutally murdered by the police. We saw the video, we marched, and we committed to a simple truth: George Floyd’s murder must not be in vain. President Biden’s executive order today is an important step forward in the fight for police accountability and reform. By establishing a database on excessive force, taking steps to prevent white supremacists from federal law enforcement, and beginning to move toward reforms contained in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the executive order sends a message that policing must be fairer and more accountable. It also sends a clear message that for too long, policing in this country has been broken. We thank President Biden for taking this action in the name of justice, fairness, and accountability. 

“While this action is welcome, we know that the movement to fight to transform policing continues so that people of color no longer fear police violence and misconduct. Thanks to the efforts of families of victims of police violence, the public protests and demands for reform, and the work of the civil rights community, the president has taken executive action. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act remains vital legislation, and just as President Biden has recognized the need to continue to reform policing, Congress and statehouses around the country must too. We continue to fight for its reforms.

“Now, Congress must finish the work it started in the name of George Floyd. Policymakers at every level must use this executive order as the floor upon which to build more — to push for meaningful, comprehensive change that holds law enforcement accountable for misconduct, transforms our public safety system, and shrinks the footprint of the criminal-legal system in Black and Brown people’s lives.

“We will use this executive order to transform policing so that public safety includes safety from all forms of violence, including police violence in Black communities and in all communities of color. We can’t fix what we don’t face, and we still must face that George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the countless other victims of police violence deserved life and dignity, and their avoidable deaths must have meaning. Communities of color, too long deprived of real resources and meaningful investments, deserve better public safety strategies and accountable policing. We will work to ensure that the implementation of this executive order has the intended impacts and that it becomes the beginning of greater reforms — not the end.

“Today’s executive order is an acknowledgment of that responsibility, and so we welcome it and commit to the work ahead.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, and Civil Rights Corps previously launched Vision for Justice, which aims to reimagine public safety and offer a better, more compassionate alternative to the current criminal-legal system. Learn more about Vision for Justice here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

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