On Wednesday, May 25, President Joe Biden issued a long-awaited executive order on law enforcement reform.
The order creates a national registry of officers fired for misconduct and encourages state and local police to tighten restrictions on chokeholds and so-called no-knock warrants. It also restricts the transfer of military equipment to law enforcement agencies and mandates all federal agents wear activated body cameras.
While actual mandates are directed solely at federal law enforcement officers, the directive does impact local law enforcement. It advances the federal government’s efforts to control law enforcement officers by making it more difficult for them to deal with feds and establishing federal funding programs to make local police dependent upon federal monies that have policy strings attached.
LAAPOA, along with our statewide partners at PORAC, was active directly in ensuring that more severe language that had previously been circulated regarding qualified immunity and other unprecedented federal overreach requirements did not make it in the final order.
“The ebbs and flows of the public’s opinions of law enforcement have never been more polarizing than we have seen in the last couple of years,” LAAPOA President Marshall McClain said. “Airport police have borne witness to how the federal government can impact our daily lives by setting a tone for the public, and, more specifically, the traveling public. Even though there were no requirements for local law enforcement in the executive order signed by the president this week, the message is clear that the federal government wants to tell us what to do and how to do it. We must continue to make our voices heard so that reasonable policy that reflects on-the-ground realties are maintained and/or re-established. This executive order was just another message to us. We need to keep sending our messages back to Washington, D.C. Our sworn duty requires it. God bless our membership, our children and our nation during this difficult week for our country.”