Movement for Black Lives Statement on Biden’s Executive Order on Policing
After President Biden released his executive order on policing today, including new restrictions on chokeholds and no-knock warrants, the Movement for Black Lives issued the following statement:
“President Biden’s executive order is a poor excuse for the transformation of public safety that he promised the Black voters who put him in office. It’s also a shameful way to mark the memory of George Floyd, who died two years to this day.
After spending the last few months denouncing our movement’s calls to reimagine policing and public safety, the president’s order is nothing but a reflection of his allegiance to law enforcement. Restrictions on tactics like chokeholds and no-knock warrants are the bare minimum and have not been effective in reducing the harm of the system responsible for ending the lives of George, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. And while banning the use of military equipment by law enforcement is a step in the right direction, two years from the largest racial justice uprisings of our generation demanding new visions for safety, this order still does not do nearly enough to protect our communities.
This order and efforts to reform policing nationwide fail to understand that we cannot fix a system working precisely as white supremacy designed it. As long as policing exists, Black people like George will continue to have their lives stolen by state-sanctioned murderers.
It is also important to acknowledge the power of our movement in this moment. We would not be here today if the president did not feel immense amounts of pressure to offer some sort of response to the people’s demands for community investment. But our work continues – ultimately, justice cannot exist without divesting from the police and investing in public safety alternatives.
Rather than minor reforms that tinker on the edges of a racist system, we need a complete overhaul – and to pass legislation that includes the framework of the BREATHE Act, unveiled by M4BL in the wake of George’s murder two years ago. BREATHE will give us what we know Black people deserve: a vision of community safety that works for everyone by divesting from discriminatory policing and investing in alternatives that are proven to keep our communities safe.
We are grieving for George Floyd and his family, and all of the others lost to police violence. We are grieving that so little has been done since his murder. We are grieving our dead in Buffalo, Laguna Woods, Uvalde, and countless cities across the country where policing provides no protection from the violent conditions so many of us in this country are forced to endure. As long as Biden and his administration continue to focus on propping up the racist institution that is policing, the people will always lose and never be safe. But we will not stop fighting until every Black person can live without fear of police terror, and it’s past time those in power join us.”
The Movement for Black Lives is a national network of more than 150 leaders and organizations creating a broad political home for Black people to learn, organize and take action. M4BL includes activists, organizers, academics, lawyers, educators, health workers, artists and more, all unified in a radical vision for Black liberation and working for equity, justice and healing.