President Donald Trump was surrounded by uniformed police officers and military officials on June 16 when he signed an executive order on police reform. That was what the public saw.
However, behind the scenes, one of the strongest voices currently speaking out on civil rights for African Americans was a part of the team assisting the president.
According to a new report, CNN analyst, Van Jones, was instrumental in helping to craft the order which was characterized by Democrats as “weak,” and a “photo op.” The NAACP Legal Defense Fund said that the order must not be “a distraction on the path toward achieving veritable, lasting change.”
The order creates a database to track police officers with multiple instances of misconduct and uses federal grants to encourage local police departments to meet certain higher certification standards on the use of force.
According to the report in The Daily Beast, a knowledgeable source inside the White House said that Jones and California attorney Jessica Jackson met with Jared Kushner to help write the order.
Jones praised the order on CNN during both the Inside Politics show and 360 with Anderson Cooper without disclosing that he himself had helped on it.
“The executive order is a good thing,” Jones said, “mainly because you saw the support of law enforcement there … There is movement in the direction of a database for bad cops. We have never had a federal database for bad cops, that’s why all these cops go all over the place doing bad stuff… The chokeholds, that’s common ground now between Nancy Pelosi and Trump. Good stuff there.”
Jones is managed by Jay-Z’s RocNation, and the report notes that he is the chief executive of the REFORM alliance founded by the rapper, and supported by other celebrities and billionaires.
In the lengthy report, Rev. Al Sharpton warned of the perils of trying to form an alliance with Trump. “I did not think the executive order was worth the paper it was written on,” Sharpton told The Daily Beast.
“Van’s experiment with Trump is a case of him having more faith than I have, but I’m not going to attack him for doing it,” the National Action Network leader said.
“I think he’s well-intentioned, but I think he totally underestimates the kind of guy he’s dealing with. I just disagree that the people he’s dealing with have a sincere bone in their body. But I can’t fault him for trying.”
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