Clearing things up

President Trump recently signed an executive order urging police reform. It was a very modest proposal and one of the most important proposals dealt with choke holds. He included a huge loophole that mostly negated the advantages of eliminating the choke hold for police. This loop hole provided that if the police state that they employed the choke hold to save their lives, it was legal. You can only hope there is a great video to show what actually happened! President Trump used this occasion to essentially say that in the eight years of the Obama administration, he did nothing to reform police. This is absolutely false! The last few years of the Obama administration were one of the most productive periods of criminal justice reform in American history. Here are some examples of police reform he accomplished: As part of an effort to inculcate a “guardian, not a warrior” mindset, it restricted the transfer of surplus military equipment to police departments. Obama changed sentencing guidelines to reduce the disparity in the treatment of drug crimes that were biased against black defendants. The Obama administration formed consent decrees with more than a dozen police departments to force them to change their practices. Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general under the Trump administration, limited the ability of the Justice Department to enter into court enforcement decrees to reform police departments. In my opinion, the so-called “fake (untruthful) news” is primarily coming from President Trump and some of the individuals on Fox News. We are gifted to have many excellent journalists who are only after the truth. There is a bumper sticker out that says it all about President Trump: “Is it the truth or did the President say it.”

Tom Heffernan

Ridgway

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