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Photo by Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland Tune

On May 25, 2022, two years to the date that George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order to advance effective, accountable policing and criminal justice practices with the goal of building public trust and strengthening public safety. The National Council of Churches has been among the faith-based organizations actively involved in advocating for police reform. Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune, NCC’s Chief Operating Officer, attended the signing ceremony at the White House.

The goal of the EO is to promote accountability for police and help to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, especially Black and Brown communities where relationships with police has been strained and fractured from numerous incidents of unarmed people of color being killed by officers. The President acknowledged that the Executive Order is one step toward building better relationships between communities and law enforcement but he also urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and similar legislation to provide better protection to communities, greater accountability and transparency for law enforcement, and much broader criminal justice reforms than can be accomplished by the Executive Order. The families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice and others were present at the White House for the signing, including Floyd’s daughter who memorably said that her father was going to change the world following global protests over his death.