National updates: Upcoming executive order on policing looks to 'incentivize best practices,' official says

An upcoming executive order on policing will create new incentives for “best practices” in police departments, senior administration officials said on Monday.


The latest:

  • President Donald Trump and Senate GOP members are seeking changes to police procedures. The Senate Judiciary Committee will gavel in Tuesday afternoon for an extensive hearing on "Police Use of Force and Community Relations."
  • Trump remarked on the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, calling the footage "very disturbing."
  • A Maryland panel voted to remove a Civil War plaque from the state capitol.
  • An autopsy performed Sunday listed Rayshard Brooks' cause of death as organ damage and blood loss from two gunshot wounds, CNN reported.
  • The lawyer for the family of George Floyd said they will also file a civil lawsuit against the officer who had his knee on Floyd's neck.

Upcoming executive order on policing looks to "incentivize best practices," official says

An upcoming executive order on policing will create new incentives for “best practices” in police departments, senior administration officials said on Monday.

The order, which is set to be unveiled on Tuesday, will create a nationwide certification process for police departments and rely on incentives to steer local forces towards federal guidelines, including on use of force standards that prohibit chokeholds outside of situations where deadly force is allowed.

During a call with reporters, one senior administration official said the team worked closely with “law enforcement professionals and their representatives, as well as with families and people who are killed by law enforcement and, and also their representatives" to craft the document.

“The goal of this is to bring police closer together with the communities,” the official said. “We're not looking to defund the police, we're looking to invest more and incentivize best practices.”

The official said the executive order has three main components, focusing on new, national credentialing and certification for officers and departments, “information sharing” on excessive use of force complaints against officers, and incentivizing a “co-responder program” to deal with issues like mental health and homelessness.

But there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of federal mandates. Asked how the Department of Justice would enforce the components of the order, the official answered that “a lot of the law enforcement is local.”

The order won’t mandate that federal funding be tied to meeting those best practices, another official said later, but it will make departments more “competitive” for federal grants if they meet those standards.

“It’s creating the ecosystem that rewards good behavior. One of those good behaviors, if I'm applying for federal grants, maybe you want to look at an accreditation that makes you more competitive," the official said.

Trump has yet to comprehensively address issues of police reform or even acknowledge systemic racism in America and has not been heavily involved in drafting the executive order. Instead, the president has directed his energy on delivering a tough-talking law-and-order message and falsely portraying peaceful protesters as mostly violent.

Seattle City Council voted unanimously to bar police from using tear gas, pepper spray

The Seattle City Council has voted unanimously to bar police from using tear gas, pepper spray and several other crowd control devices after officers repeatedly used them on mostly peaceful demonstrators protesting racism and police brutality.

The 9-0 vote Monday came amid frustration with the Seattle Police Department, which used tear gas to disperse protesters in the city’s densest neighborhood, Capitol Hill, just days after Mayor Jenny Durkan and Chief Carmen Best promised not to.

The council heard repeated complaints from residents forced out of their homes by the gas even though they weren’t protesting; one resident said his wife doused their child’s eyes with breast milk.

A federal judge on Friday issued a temporary order banning Seattle police from using tear gas, pepper spray, foam-tipped projectiles or other force against protesters, finding that the department had used less-lethal weapons “disproportionately and without provocation,” chilling free speech in the process.

Man shot in New Mexico during protest over statue

A man was shot Monday night as protesters in New Mexico’s largest city tried to tear down a bronze statue of a Spanish conquistador outside the Albuquerque Museum.

The man was taken to a hospital but his condition was not immediately known, Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said.

The city announced the statue will be removed until officials determine the next steps.

A confrontation broke out between demonstrators and a group of armed men who were trying to protect the statue of Juan de Oñate before protesters wrapped a chain around the statue and began tugging on it while chanting, "Tear it down.” One protester repeatedly swung a pickax at the base of the statue.

Moments later a few gunshots could be heard down the street and people started yelling that someone had been shot.

Gallegos said officers used tear gas and flash bangs to protect officers and detain those involved in the shooting. He said they were disarmed and taken into custody for questioning as police worked to secure the scene. Gallegos said detectives will be investigating but he did not immediately release any other information.

President Trump calls Rayshard Brooks' death "very disturbing'

President Donald Trump said he found the footage of the death of Rayshard Brooks by a white police officer in Atlanta “very disturbing.”

“I thought it was a terrible situation,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“To me, it was very disturbing.”

Trump said he would not compare the death of Brooks to the death of George Floyd and that he had studied the events over the weekend in Atlanta “closely.”

“I’m going to get some reports done today,” he said of the Brooks case.

Trump added he would “have a little more to say about it tomorrow.”

He is expected to unveil a policing-related executive order Tuesday as well.

'When does it stop?' Relatives of Rayshard Brooks make tearful plea

Pleading through grief and tears Monday, the family of a black man killed by Atlanta police outside a fast-food drive-thru called on protesters to refrain from violence and demanded changes in the criminal justice system to prevent such deaths.

An autopsy found that 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot twice in the back late Friday by an officer trying to arrest him for being intoxicated behind the wheel of his car. Brooks tried to flee after wrestling with officers and grabbing a Taser from one of them.

"Not only are we hurt, we are angry,” said Chassidy Evans, Brooks’ niece. “When does it stop? We’re not only pleading for justice. We’re pleading for change.”

About 20 of Brooks’ children, siblings, cousins and other family members sobbed openly at a news conference as more than 1,000 people gathered not far away for an NAACP-led protest outside the Georgia Capitol.

The killing has rekindled protests in Atlanta that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. The Wendy’s restaurant where Brooks was shot was burned down over the weekend.

Evans said there was no reason for her uncle “to be shot and killed like trash in the street for falling asleep in a drive-thru.”

"Rayshard has a family who loves him who would have gladly come and got him so he would be here with us today,” she said.

Relatives described Brooks as a loving father of three daughters and a stepson who had a bright smile, a big heart and loved to dance. His oldest daughter learned her father was slain while celebrating her eighth birthday with cupcakes and friends, wearing a special dress as she waited for Brooks to take her skating, said Justin Miller, an attorney for the family.

“There’s no justice that can ever make me feel happy about what's been done," said Tomika Miller, Brooks' widow. "I can never get my husband back. ... I can never tell my daughter he’s coming to take you skating or for swimming lessons.”

She asked those demonstrating in the streets to “keep the protesting peaceful,” saying: “We want to keep his name positive and great.”

The NAACP protest took place as lawmakers were returning to work after a three-month coronavirus shutdown.

Several Democratic lawmakers joined protesters and called for Georgia to pass a hate-crimes law as well as a slate of other reforms, including the repeal of the state's citizen's arrest and stand-your-ground laws. Republican leaders pushed back against swift action.

Morgan Dudley, 18, skipped work to join the Capitol demonstration after her job kept her from joining prior Atlanta protests in the wake of Floyd's death. As those protests started to die down, she said, she feared the message would be lost.

“I was like, ‘You know what, this is not a trend. This is an actual problem that we’re facing,’" said Dudley, who is black. "So I called out of work to be here today.”

Officer Garrett Rolfe, who fired the shots that killed Brooks, has been fired, and the other officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, has been placed on administrative duty. Police Chief Erika Shields resigned a day after the shooting.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said he hopes to decide by midweek whether to charge either of the officers. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was put in charge of the investigation.

Brooks was shot after police were called amid complaints that a car was blocking the drive-thru lane. An officer found Brooks asleep in the car.

Video from the two officers' body cameras and dash-mounted cameras on their cruisers showed Brooks cooperating for more than 40 minutes, telling them he had had a couple of drinks while celebrating his daughter's birthday and consenting to a breath test.

The video shows Brooks' alcohol level at 0.108 percent — higher than Georgia's legal limit of 0.08. When one of the officers moves to handcuff him, Brooks tries to run and the officers take him to the ground. Brooks grabs Brosnan's Taser and starts running again.

Footage from a Wendy’s security camera showed Brooks turn and point an object at one of the officers, who opens fire.

“As I pursued him, he turned and started firing the Taser at me,” Rolfe told a supervisor after the shooting in a videotaped conversation. “He definitely did shoot it at me at least once.”

Georgia House Minority Leader Bob Trammell, a Democrat, said: “For the General Assembly to turn a deaf ear to the cries that are occurring all over Georgia and throughout the country would be a tragic missed opportunity and a dereliction of responsibility.”


Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia. AP writer Ben Nadler in Atlanta contributed to this report.