The protests and riots sparked by George Floyd’s death two weeks ago have morphed from protests calling for justice for Floyd into demonstrations calling for governmental action to defund and dismantle the police.
Though Trump has made it clear that his first priority is “law and order,” White House insiders told Axios over the weekend that behind the scenes, the White House is working to facilitate talks about serious law enforcement reform.
According to the Axios report, “President Trump will host a roundtable listening session with law enforcement on Monday, ‘to hear their challenges and input on how to fix racial inequality in American policing,'” an anonymous White House official disclosed.
Trump will also reportedly meet with his senior policy team to discuss potential executive actions and reform legislation that the White House can get behind.
One administration official explained that Trump and his cabinet “need to be seen as meeting the moment and go beyond the crackdown on protesters. The president recognizes that.”
Protests across the US are entering their third week, and though some of the violence has died down, the protests at large do not appear to be losing steam anytime soon.
Rumblings of change
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also announced last week her intention to introduce a dramatic law enforcement reform bill on Monday.
The House will hold hearings on a new policy proposal, the “Justice in Policing Act of 2020,” along with a hearing with George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd.
According to another Axios report, the Democrat-led proposal would “reform police training, make lynching a federal crime, and ban chokeholds and the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases.” House Democrats are reportedly hoping to push legislation through by the end of June.
Though many prominent Democrat leaders have refused to get behind growing grassroots calls to entirely abolish law enforcement organizations, lower-level politicians are working towards making it happen on a local level.
In Minneapolis, which has suffered untold destruction from the ongoing riots, the Democrat-led City Council committed to completely dismantling the city’s police force on Sunday.
City Council members told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that they will “begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department,” and continued that “we recognize that we don’t have all the answers about what a police-free future looks like, but our community does.”