East TN leaders react to President Trump’s executive order on police reform

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — President Trump’s new executive order on police reform is drawing mixed reviews from local lawmakers and activists.

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann in support of the order, says he commends the President for being proactive.

“I think the president’s executive order today is a huge step in the right direction,” Fleischmann said. “Obviously there’s a problem in America that needs to be addressed. And we have got to build trust, cooperation in the communities between law enforcement and the rest of the communities so we can unite this country and begin a great healing process.”

Local activists feel differently, saying this is a larger issue that has been going on for centuries, and an executive order is simply not enough.

Constance Every, founder of Black Coffee Justice and a Black Lives Matter activist says there should have been steps taken before this executive order.

“The Senate and the House apparently have a bill on the table talking about police immunity. I would have rather seen him endorse and support that going forward, because to me that’s the first corrective step of change. It’s something that should come after step one and two which is immunity, accountability in our justice system and then the order to make sure that we are improving our community relationships with our police force,” Every said.

The president is framing the order as an alternative to defunding the police. The hope is that this will be a good first step toward building trust between citizens and law enforcement.

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