Published on: Wednesday, May 25, 2022

President Biden has marked the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by signing an executive order aimed at reforming federal police practices and establishing a national database of police misconduct on Wednesday, two years to the day since George Floyd was murdered at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis. It will set up some of the police reforms that stalled in Congress (White House Statement available here).

"This executive order is going to deliver the most significant police reform in decades. It applies directly, under law, to only 100,000 federal law enforcement officers, all the federal law enforcement officers. And through federal incentives and best practices that are attached to it, we expect the order to have significant impact on state and local law enforcement agencies as well," he said.

The executive order directs the attorney general to create a new National Law Enforcement Accountability Database, with all federal law enforcement agencies — such as the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secret Service and Customs and Border Protection — required to participate. The database will include records of officers convicted of crimes, firings and "sustained complaints or records of disciplinary actions for serious misconduct," among other issues, and will be available to state and local agencies.

Non-federal entities are not required to report misconduct incidents to the new database, but are "encouraged" to do so.

The order also strengthens federal "patterns and practices" investigations over local agencies, mandates the use of body cameras by federal agents and requires all federal law enforcement agencies to implement new use-of-force policies, consistent with new guidelines issued by the Justice Department earlier this week. It also bans the use of chokeholds and limits the use of no-knock warrants by federal agents.

Floyd was 46 when he was killed on a street corner in Minneapolis in front of a crowd of onlookers who begged Police Officer Derek Chauvin to lift his knee from Floyd’s neck. Police had responded to a call that Floyd allegedly attempted to use a counterfeit $20 bill to pay for cigarettes.