President Donald Trump, facing criticism that his policies and inflammatory rhetoric have aggravated a racial divide in the United States, signed an order on Tuesday aimed at improving police practices and said that "Americans want law and order."
After weeks of protests against racism and police brutality prompted by the death of George Floyd, a black man killed on May 25 in police custody in Minneapolis, Trump offered a policy response to rising concerns about racial injustice going into the Nov. 3 election in which he is seeking a second term.
"Americans want law and order, they demand law and order," Trump said at a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden before signing the executive order.
The Republican president offered his condolences to the families of victims of recent police and other violence, and vowed to pursue justice.
In his public comments and on Twitter, Trump has called for crackdowns on protesters and emphasized a forceful and militarized response to the social unrest sparked by the death of Floyd and others. Opinion polls show widespread concerns among Americans about police brutality.
The executive order encourages police departments to employ the latest standards for use of force, improve information sharing so that officers with poor records are not hired without their backgrounds being known, and add social workers to law enforcement responses to non-violent cases involving drug addiction and homelessness, officials said.