Trump meets with Black families of police violence

President says to those who have lost family members and loved ones, 'I could never imagine your pain or the depth of your anguish'

Donald Trump said he met privately with Black families of police violence, but they did not attend the White House Rose Garden signing of the order.

In announcing his executive order on police reform, President Donald Trump said that he met privately with Black families of police violence.

The families did not attend the White House Rose Garden signing of the order. However, the president said he met with the families of Ahmaud ArberyBotham Jean, Antwon Rose II, Jemel Roberson, Atatiana JeffersonMichael Dean, Darius Tarver, Everett Palmer, Jr., and Cameron Lamb.

READ MORE: President Trump to sign executive order on police reform

The president’s executive order would limit the use of chokeholds and create a national database for police misconduct.

Congress is working to pass additional legislation on police reform in response to the national outcry in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

S. Lee Merritt, an attorney who represents a number of the families called the order, a “step in the right direction.” Merritt is also scheduled to meet with Republican and Democratic lawmakers and testify before the Senate on police violence.

“It’s too incremental to have, you know, sweeping impact,” Merritt said, “But it’s things that we need to have done among the myriad of things that we need to address this crisis. It’s not a cure. But it is a way to deal with the damage from the fallout.”

Lee Merritt and Wanda Cooper

Wanda Cooper, left, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, and attorney Lee Merritt, talks with the media outside the Glynn County courthouse. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

In a press conference, Merritt was asked if he has any reservations about working with Trump who has been widely called a racist. Merritt said that his focus is on getting justice for the families.

“We are the deadliest and the most incarcerated nation on the planet and so that’s not a partisan issue,” Merritt said, “Whoever is offering solutions, are willing to work together across the aisle to change the actual laws that allow for this pattern of brutality and injustice and lack of accountability, then we’re willing to work with them.”

Civil Rights leaders have critiques Merritt’s position, believing that it undermines the work that they have been doing and calling it a ‘photo-op.’

  Merritt responded on social media.

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At today’s press event, the president said that violence by police is the fault of a “very tiny number of bad police.” He also publicly mentioned his private meeting with the families.

“I could never imagine your pain or the depth of your anguish, but I can promise to fight for justice for all of our people,” Trump said.

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