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National Policy in times of Protest #GeorgeFloyd

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As 2020 election dates approach, national conversation has shifted to police accountability in the case of George Floyd. On this exact issue, Trump and Biden campaign agenda’s hold stark differences.

Beginning Tuesday, protests ensued in Minneapolis due to the wrongful passing of George Floyd. Since then, many occurrences have overtook national conversation throughout the week.

Protestors were first found marching to the police department 3rd precinct, with officers responding with riot gear forming a barrier with tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protestors.

As protest continue, both Biden and Trump plans on criminal justice have two very different policy agendas.

Joe Biden’s current campaign plan includes language to expand and use the power of the U.S. Justice Department to address systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors’ offices.

The Trump administration emphasizes and highlights its contribution to signing Executive order 13809 that continues to give access and surplus equipment from the Defense Department to local law enforcement during protest.

In the case of George Floyd, the four officers have been fired, but protest and community fear remains. Just as quickly as the video was shared by a bystander, police military response began with Executive Order 13809 still enacted.

In 2017 President Trump reinstated Executive Order 13809. The Executive Order allows police enforcement to receive free weaponized vehicles, certain large-caliber ammunition, riot-gear and other military equipment for use during protest.

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According to research by the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law,  former president Obama scaled back Executive Order 13809 that transferred surplus military equipment to police departments across the country, because of police response during 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Many protestors gather with constant fear and violence of police towards black and minority communities.

Courtesy of News&Observer – A group of about fourteen mostly-armed demonstrators march around downtown Raleigh touting 2nd Amendment Friday May 1, 2020. Travis Long.

As many organize, questions raised of police response to those advocating for George Floyd unarmed arrest, to those of whom protested with arms against stay-at-home orders.

On Wednesday Trump asked the Department of Justice and FBI to expedite an investigation into the death of George Floyd killed in Minneapolis police.

Through tweet Wednesday night Trump stated “At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd.”

As protest and riots continue, the primary community request is for the officers to be charged with convictions. As current events unfold, questions of police response during community distress continue.

With elections taking place, along with November presidential elections soon to come, conversation on policy continues across the country.

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