by Sharon Rondeau

The Rose Garden, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

(June 16, 2020) — Early Tuesday morning, Fox News and its affiliates reported that President Trump will be holding a press conference in the Rose Garden at noon EDT as well as signing an executive order on policing reforms following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta on Friday night and the May 25 death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.

While many outlets reported the development of the executive order, few mentioned the accompanying Rose Garden press conference which Vice President Mike Pence told the three co-hosts of “Fox & Friends” at 8:30 Tuesday morning came about as a result of input from “law enforcement” and African-American community leaders.

During the interview, Pence called Floyd’s death “a national tragedy and a disgrace,” adding that “the violent protesting and looting” which took place in Portland, OR Monday night and many other places since Floyd’s death “is also a disgrace and totally unacceptable to the American people.”

Since Floyd’s death, many urban areas have begun campaigns to “defund the police.” An alternative is to divert certain funds from police departments to other causes, which New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio last week said he will do.

On Monday night, the Portland Police Bureau reported “several demonstrations throughout the city in different parts of town” to include throwing “projectiles” at police, scrawled graffiti, damage to a window belonging to a business, an injury to a sheriff’s deputy and the setting of a fire.  “10 arrests were made over the course of the evening, including several arrests for assaults or attempted assaults on Police Officers. Information on arrests is still being compiled and an updated release will be published when this information becomes available,” the press release states.

Pence said the executive order to be signed “will set into motion new resources, new standards on the use of force, a way to be be able to track when we see inappropriate use of force and also resources to encourage using other public officials like social workers in interaction with the public.”

The executive order is a result of “two weeks” of listening sessions with law-enforcers from “around the country” and African-American leaders, Pence said.

Spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), he said, the Senate is also writing proposed legislation to address the issue.

“The president’s going to take this action to assure the American people that we’re listening, we’re supporting law enforcement.  We’re not going to defund the police; quite the contrary,” Pence said.  “We’re going to fund new resources to help departments obtain certifications that improve standards for the use of force, improve training on de-escalation, and that’s exactly what the American people want us to do.”

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