Trump talks police reform in Texas; Democrats call for more action and empathy

State & Regional

President Trump arrives in Dallas

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — President Donald Trump landed in Dallas on Thursday, June 11 for an already-scheduled fundraising dinner for his campaign.

Before dinner, Trump held a round-table discussion with community leaders to address police reform.

“We’re finalizing an executive order that will encourage police departments nationwide to meet the most current professional standards for the use of force, including tactics for de-escalation,” Trump explained.

He said defunding or dismantling the police is not the right option.

“We must invest more energy and resources in police training and recruiting and community engagement. We have to respect our police. We have to take care of our police, they’re protecting us and if they’re allowed to do their job, they’ll do a great job,” he said.

Texas Democrats held a news conference ahead of the President’s visit. They called for more action from the President — and more empathy.

“I’d like for him sit and share some real understanding of what is being experienced, especially by minorities,” U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson said.

“Don’t just come in and visit with his rich friends and take our $10 billion, and ignore the majority of the area,” Johnson added, referring to the ticket price of Trump’s fundraising dinner, which is more than half a million dollars per couple.

Johnson also said she questioned the sincerity of Trump’s discussion on police reform, especially considering local top law enforcement officers were left out of the conversation.

“It’s difficult to address issues when you don’t invite the elected leadership, nor the persons who are professionally responsible for guiding law enforcement. I certainly didn’t get any kind of invitation and I’m the longest-serving member of Congress in the state,” Johnson said.

Johnson did say, however, that state Republican leaders have shown some promise in reacting to recent protests around the country sparked by the death of George Floyd. That includes Governor Greg Abbott.

“I do think he has shown some sensitivity of what the depth has meant. He went to the [George Floyd’s funeral] service. He’s indicated he’s open to listening for change. I hope that he can do that with a very good conscience,” she said.

Recently, Governor Abbott said he is working toward police reform, and will make it a top priority in the next legislative session.

“One thing that police officers need and all law enforcement officers need is better training. Training before they go out on their first day, but training on an annual basis so they know what the standards are, what the update to the standards are,” Abbott said Tuesday, “…make sure everybody is reminded about the correct approach when they do pull over, and stop someone like George Floyd, making sure they don’t use life-threatening strategies that could kill someone like what happened to George Floyd.”

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