Trump signs police reform executive order

The president called for police departments to ban choke holds unless an officer’s life is in danger, but also went on to praise police and said only a “very tiny” percentage of officers are bad.
3:59 | 06/16/20

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Transcript for Trump signs police reform executive order
But we're going to begin with president trump on policing in America. After three weeks of protests calling for change, president trump in an emotional meeting behind closed doors with families of victims. And the president in the rose garden today signing an executive order, recommending restricting choke holds to be used only if an officer's life is in danger, but not a mabd toir ban. He said police departments should share abuse complaints about officers. The president insisting, quote, Americans want law and order, adding, some of them don't even know that's what they want. But with protests across this country, the president did not address racism in America and what the families who met with the president said afterward. Our chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl leading us off tonight. Reporter: The president's speech today in the rose garden started out as a plea for unity. To all of the hurting families, I want you to know that all Americans mourn by your side. Your loved ones will not have died in vain. Reporter: But the president quickly turned to tough talk about law and order. Americans want law and order. They demand law and order. Some of them don't even know that's what they want, but that's what they want. Reporter: The event was called for the president to sign an executive order the white house billed as an effort to address the issues raised by the protests across the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, but the president spent most of his remarks defending law enforcement. I strongly oppose the radical and dangerous efforts to defund, dismantle and dissolve our police departments. Americans know the truth. Without police, there is chaos. Reporter: His opponent, Joe Biden, says he doesn't support defunding the police, either. Before the event, the president met privately for at least an hour with several black families whose loved ones were killed by police, including botham Jean and ahmaud arbery, who was shot to death after being chased down by a retired officer. But when it came time to sign the executive order, the president was surrounded by nine law enforcement official us, only one of them black. The order makes no mention whatsoever of racism in policing. In his remarks, the president insisted that the problem of misconduct is limited to a very small number of police officers. I use the word tiny. It's a very small percentage, but you have them. Reporter: The executive order requires local police departments to follow higher standards on use of force and de-escalation in order to receive federal grants. And to report instances of police misconduct to a national registry. The president suggested his order bans check choke holds. As part of this new credentialing process, choke holds will be banned, except if an officer's life is at risk. Is the. Reporter: But the order does not require police to stop using choke holds. Lee Merritt, who represents some of the families who met with the president today, says it's not Well, the executive order takes incremental steps and we need radical change. The news on police reform today. Let's get right to Jon Karl, because Jon, there's another breaking headline as we're on the air tonight. Just a short time ago, the department of justice filing a civil lawsuit to try to stop the publication of president trump's former national security adviser John Bolton's new memoir. That book set to be out next week? Reporter: David, this lawsuit from the administration says that Bolton's book is, quote, rife with classified information and if it is published, it will damage American natiol security. Bolton's lawyer dismisses that, saying there is no classified information in the book, there is only information that is embarrassing to the president. It is unclear when this will be resolved, but this could very quickly go all the way to the supreme court and, of course, Bolton's book is due to be pun lished a week from today. A week from today. Jon, thank you. Our Martha Raddatz landed the first interview with John Bolton about his memoir and what he says he witnessed in the white house. The one-hour special, this Sunday night, 9:00 P.M. Eastern, with Martha, right here.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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