|GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel, releases the following statement on President Trump’s executive order on police reform:
America’s long and difficult struggle with racism cannot be resolved by the actions of a single leader or the work of a single political party. History, past and present, reminds us of how far we’ve come and how far we have to go.
The president’s action today helped in that process.
The president ordered law enforcement to professionalize their standards while tying funding to the implementation of those standards on force and de-escalation. The order creates a nationwide database that will track officers who are terminated or face criminal convictions or are guilty of excessive use-of-force or other offenses. The order bans the use of chokeholds. The order also gives more resources and prioritization to programs addressing mental health, addiction and homelessness while calling for the strengthening of the relationship between law enforcement and communities.
- We asked the president to meet with the families of victims — he met with the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Antwon Rose Jr., Jemel Roberson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver, Cameron Lamb and Everett Palmer Jr.
- We asked the president to take action to address problems in law enforcement — he issued an executive order.
- We asked the president to speak out because silence was complicity — he has again and again spoken out.
- We asked the president not to wait for Congress to act — he hasn’t waited for Congress.
- We asked the president to protect the right to peaceful protest — he has.
- We asked the president to hold roundtable discussions with leaders — he has held at least three within a week.
- We asked the president to create a national database — he has.
- We asked the president to ban chokeholds — he has.
- We asked the president to create a commission — he has already established the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice.
Even though more work is left to be done, I am grateful our nation is choosing to confront these issues head on and moving toward unity. Every step we take in the direction of justice is the right step.
America’s greatness is in our unity, especially when we come together on issues of justice and equality for all. We must remember today is just one of many steps that still need to be taken. All Americans, especially in our Christian churches, must continue to do our part.