According to Axios, Trump signed the order on Tuesday, which encourages limiting the use of chokeholds and developing a national database for police misconduct. Many lawmakers have already criticized the order as not doing enough to address police violence, particularly after protests have erupted around the world over the deaths of people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Rayshard Brooks.
During the signing, Trump name-dropped other victims of police or racialized violence, saying that he spoke to their families. He specifically mentioned the families of Antwon Rose II, Jemel Roberson, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver, Cameron Lamb, Everett Palmer, Jr., Ahmaud Arbery and Botham Jean. None of these families were present at the White House Rose Garden signing.
Jean’s mom, Allison Jean, questioned Trump’s genuineness when he decided to utter her deceased son’s name.
According to Loop, Jean said, “I am not an American and I will not meddle in American politics but I believe it is a political stunt to seem to be recognising black people to see how much they could be swayed to vote for Trump in November.”
She continued, “However, it does bring some benefit to my family because the police reform is intended to improve the policing system in the United States so I’m hoping that my three grandchildren in the United States will be living in a better place when they are approached by police.”
Jean is Saint Lucian, however, her son Botham was a resident of Dallas, Texas when an off-duty cop, Amber Guyger, shot him in his own apartment. Guyger argued that she thought she was entering her own apartment back in September 2018 after a day of work. When she saw Jean, who was eating serial and prepping for a football game on T.V. that night, Guyger said she believed he was an intruder and she fatally shot him. Guyger was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Despite the end of the criminal trial, Guyger’s lawyer eventually filed an appeal requesting a new trial. Meanwhile, Jean’s family filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Dallas, considering Guyger was still in her law enforcement uniform and was still a police officer when she fatally shot Botham. The civil suit was eventually dismissed in December 2019.
In response to Trump’s executive order signing, Allison Jean went on to say that although she believes his presentation was a political stunt, she still hopes police trainings will help bereaved familes like hers.
“The fact that Donald Trump actually said that proper training might have prevented the tragic death of Botham Jean…To hear the President say that, reinforces our civil claim that it was improper training that was given to Amber Guyger by the City of Dallas that caused her to act in the way she did when she approached Botham on September 6 2018,” Jean said. “So I’m hoping that out of that we would hear of the settlement by the Dallas City so we can continue our lives. It has kept us back for a while”
Trump’s executive order still made it clear that he believes in “law and order” and he argued that there are a “small number of bad police officers…They are very tiny. I use the word ‘tiny.’ It is a very small percentage. But you have them.”
Trump also made it clear that he was against many activist’s demands to defund and dismantle the police altogether.