Trump administration to ’empower’ US police forces

Statement on the official White House website says US President Donald Trump will empower police departments.

US Presidential Inauguration
Trump's administration will 'empower' police officers, according to a statement on official website [Chris Kleponis/EPA]

The administration of the US president, Donald Trump, condemned what it called the “anti-police atmosphere” in the United States and called for more law enforcement and more effective policing in a statement on the White House website after the new president’s inauguration. 

“The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump administration will end it,” said Friday’s statement on the White House’s official website after it was taken over by the new administration.

Trump was still committed to building a border wall to stop undocumented immigration, the statement said, adding: “Our country needs more law enforcement, more community engagement, and more effective policing.”

According to The Guardian’s The Counted database, US police forces killed at least 1,092 people in 2016.

Although African Americans make up roughly 12 percent of the US population, they represented nearly a quarter of those killed by police last year.

The inflated rate of killing of African Americans by police sparked in recent years the rise of Black Lives Matter, a popular civil rights movement aimed at ending police violence and dismantling structural racism.

During his campaign, Trump promised to back law enforcement with federal grants without conditions.

He also pledged to continue a programme, previously suspended by former President Barack Obama, allowing for the transfer of surplus military equipment to police departments.

Trump has also said he plans to push for legislation that would deem attacks on police to be “hate crimes”.

READ MORE: Will killings by police rise in Trump’s America?

He has previously expressed support for reinstating “stop-and-frisk”, a New York Police Department policy that was banned after a judge ruled that it constituted “indirect” racial profiling.

Questions raised

Trump’s ascension to the White House raises a host of questions for the US.

Elsewhere on the White House website, the Trump administration vowed in a separate statement to make the US military “strong again”.

“We will also develop a state-of-the-art missile defence system to protect against missile-based attacks from states like Iran and North Korea,” the statement said. 

“Cyberwarfare is an emerging battlefield, and we must take every measure to safeguard our national security secrets and systems.”

Other statements on the website promised to create more jobs, seek out trade deals that benefit average American citizens, defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and lowering energy costs. 

READ MORE: The seven biggest threats to Donald Trump’s presidency

“The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans,” another statement said. 

“The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.”

Trump took his first official actions as US president on Friday, sending his Cabinet nominations to the Senate and calling for a national day of patriotism, his spokesman Sean Spicer said.

Demonstrators were set to participate in a “Women’s March on Washington” on Saturday. Protests are also planned in other cities in the US and abroad.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies