Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) fully supports the executive order issued this week by President Joe Biden to advance effective, accountable policing and strengthen public safety. For years, FCNL has worked to reduce violence both at home and abroad. This executive order, while not a law, will make great strides in reducing the volume of military-style weapons flowing into our communities while also revamping many of the more deadly ways police forces nationwide interact with the communities they are sworn to protect and serve.
Timothy J McHugh;
“Sadly, police take the lives of more than 1,000 people each year, a disproportionate amount being Black and brown people. This has not been the exception but the norm for far too long,” said FCNL General Secretary Bridget Moix. “These are our children. Our brothers and sisters. All with the Light of God within them. We have a moral obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect. This includes the police and all those they interact with.”
President Biden’s executive order does many important things, including banning chokeholds unless lethal force is necessary, restricting the use of force, establishing a national database of police misconduct, and limiting no-knock warrants.
Importantly, the Defense Department’s programs 1033 and 1122 will be greatly reduced and monitored. These programs allow local law enforcement departments to buy or otherwise acquire military-grade hardware for their operations, leading to a flood of equipment designed for the battlefield ending up in communities nationwide.
“This executive order is important in that it finally limits law enforcement to the point where they will be held accountable for their actions. Everyone has dignity and value. If police suspect you of committing a crime your worth is not diminished,” said FCNL’s Director for Justice Reform José Santos Woss. “Police must respect the people they serve but too often the law allows for excessive force. Deadly or otherwise, the use of force must be an option of last resort, not just another possibility.”
FCNL urges Congress to come together and pass the following bills into law: The George Floyd Justice and Policing Act (H.R. 7120), which stalled in the Senate last summer after passage in the House, and the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 1694), which would curtail the 1033 program,
“Executive orders can expire or be rescinded. But today is a positive, if long overdue, first step,” Woss added.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.