June 16 Black Lives Matter protest news

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Helen Regan and Steve George, CNN

Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT) June 17, 2020
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1:23 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Trump signs executive order on police reform

President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on June 16.
President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on June 16. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order today for police reform that he says will encourage police departments nationwide to adopt the "highest professional standards to serve their communities."

This measure, however, comes after past efforts in his administration to scale back programs to reform police departments.

In September 2017, the Justice Department, then led by Jeff Sessions, announced that it was significantly scaling back a program created during the Obama administration to help reform police departments after controversial incidents such as police-involved shootings. Read more about that move here.


12:45 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Trump brings up black unemployment rate before signing police reform order

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on June 16.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on June 16. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Speaking before signing an executive order on police reform, President Trump touted black unemployment rates.

"We achieved the lowest black and Hispanic and Asian unemployment rates in American history, and we will do it again," he said. "A great jobs market and thriving economy is probably the best thing that we can do to help the black, Hispanic, Asian communities."

Some context: Earlier this month, Trump invoked George Floyd's memory to tout the jobs report, which showed a drop in overall unemployment — but also highlighted lingering racial disparities in the US economy.

"Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, 'There's a great thing that's happening for our country,'" Trump said on Friday. "There's a great day for him. It's a great day for everybody. There's a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality."

Facts First: Trump's comment about "equality" is out of sync with reality — the jobs report says white unemployment dropped, but black unemployment ticked up slightly, and was already at a disproportionately high level. As for Trump's comments regarding Floyd having a "great day," activists and pundits have already begun weighing in on the wisdom and propriety of that comment. Floyd died on May 25, killed in police custody in what has been ruled a homicide.

Read the full fact check here.

12:31 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

These are the families Trump met with today

President Trump said he just held a meeting with several families of black Americans who have been killed by police.

Relatives of Botham Jean, Antwon Rose, Jemel Roberson, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver and Cameron Lamb and Everett Palmer were all in attendance he said.

Relatives of Ahmaud Arbery, who was fatally shot  in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, were also at the White House, Trump said.

"All Americans mourn by your side, your loved ones will not have died in vain," Trump said in the Rose Garden at a ceremony where he's expected to sign a modest police reform executive order.
12:49 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Trump says order will encourage police departments to adopt "highest professional standards"

President Trump said he will be signing an executive order that encourages "police departments nationwide to adopt the highest professional standards to serve their communities."

"These standards will be as high and as strong as there is on Earth," Trump said. "The vast majority of police officers are self-less and courageous public servants and they are great men and women."

The President then went on to defend police officers.

"Nobody needs a strong trustworthy police force more than those who live in distressed areas and no one is more opposed to the small number of bad police officers — and you have them — they are very tiny. I use the word tiny. It's a very small percentage, but you have them. But nobody wants to get rid of them more than the overwhelming number of really good and great police officers," Trump said.


12:38 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Here's who is attending Trump's police reform executive order signing ceremony

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Trump is about to sign an executive order on police reform in the White House's Rose Garden.

The following individuals were expected to attend, according to the White House:

The White House

The Trump administration

  • Jared Kushner, assistant to the President and senior adviser 
  • Tim Pataki, deputy assistant to the President and director of the Office of Public Liaison
  • Ja'Ron Smith, deputy assistant to the President and deputy director of the Office of American Innovation
  • Chris Pilkerton, executive director of Opportunity Now
  • Attorney General William Barr
  • Kate Sullivan, principal deputy assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs
  • Rachel Bissex, deputy chief of staff to the Attorney General and counselor to the Attorney General
  • Christopher Michel, counselor to the Attorney General

Members of Congress

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • GOP. Sen.Tim Scott from South Carolina
  • GOP Rep. Pete Stauber from Minnesota
  • GOP Rep. Kelly Armstrong from North Dakota
  • GOP Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio
  • GOP Rep. Guy Reschenthaler from Pennsylvania
  • GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas

Other attendees

  • Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody
  • Pat Yoes, president of Fraternal Order of Police
  • Chief Steven Casstevens, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, president of the Florida Sheriffs Association
  • Larry Cosme, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
  • Sheriff Mark Cage of Eddy County, New Mexico
  • Sheriff Tony Childress of Livingston County, Illinois
  • Sheriff Tom Hodgson of Bristol County, Massachusetts 
  • Dennis Slocumb, executive director of the International Union of Police Associations
  • Jennifer DeCasper, chief of staff to Sen. Tim Scott
12:47 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Trump says he strongly opposes defunding or dismantling police departments

President Trump said that he "strongly" opposes efforts to defund or dismantle police departments during his Rose Garden announcement of a new executive order on policing.

He called those efforts "radical."

"Americans know the truth. Without police, there is chaos. Without law, there is anarchy and without safety, there is catastrophe."


12:19 p.m. ET, June 16, 2020

SOON: Trump to sign police reform order

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond and Kaitlan Collins

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, on June 15.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, on June 15. Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump is expected to soon sign a modest police reform order.

The executive order is expected to establish a national certification system for law enforcement agencies and a database to better track excessive uses of force by police officers nationwide, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

The key provisions in a current draft of the executive order included modest directives with broad-based support intended to encourage higher standards among police departments while leaving the prospect of more significant police reform to Congress.

A source briefed on the text of the order said it is relatively muted when it comes to sweeping police reforms that have been discussed by members of both parties recently. The order mainly leans on lawmakers to do the heavy lifting, as the President has privately expressed caution about alienating police officers by going too far.

Remember: Trump has yet to comprehensively address issues of police reform or even acknowledge systemic racism in America and has not been heavily involved in drafting the executive order. Instead, the President has directed his energy on delivering a tough-talking law-and-order message and falsely portraying peaceful protesters as mostly violent.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill: Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are working to advance two competing bills, with the Democratic legislation going further in several respects by banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants. White House officials have been coordinating with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the sole black Republican senator, who is spearheading the GOP's legislative effort.

11:30 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Breonna Taylor's family demands city of Louisville "Tell Us The Truth"

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

Breonna Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar released a strongly worded statement Tuesday morning saying that all of Taylor’s family has been asking from the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) is for them to “Tell Us the Truth.”

Taylor was killed in March after officers forced their way inside her home and exchanged shots with her boyfriend, according to a lawsuit filed by her mother. The officers were executing a search warrant in a narcotics investigation, the Louisville Metro Police Department has said, when they entered Taylor's apartment just before 1 a.m. on March 13.

Aguiar points out that LMPD has denied the family’s repeated open records requests and that open records requests filed into the matter are being denied pending an appeal with the attorney general’s office.

"For months, we have pursued the truth surrounding what took place leading up to, during and following the murder of Breonna Taylor. And for months, LMPD and Mayor Fischer have covered it up," the statement says.

Aguiar says that last Friday marked the deadline for the Louisville Metro Coroner’s Office to produce an autopsy in regards to Taylor’s death and the deadline for the mayor to produce all of his communications in regards to the investigation surrounding Taylor’s death.

Aguiar accuses the mayor’s office of providing all requested information regarding Taylor’s death investigation to counsel for the city and withheld it from Taylor’s family legal representation.

Aguiar continues by calling these actions taken by mayor Greg Fischer’s office “above the law” and says they’ve gone on far too long in this administration, “contrary to the mayor’s office’s beliefs, the city is not exempt from the rules governing our justice system.” 

The attorney says that Louisville ignored the Taylor’s family’s requests for an independent investigation and “only succumbed after national outrage and urging” by Gov. Andy Beshear.

Aguiar ends the statement by saying Taylor’s mother, Tamika, “deserves the truth” and that “the city deserves the truth.”

CNN has reached out to city of Louisville officials, Louisville Metro Police for comment and the Kentucky Attorney General’s office for comment.

11:42 a.m. ET, June 16, 2020

Ex-Xerox CEO’s message to CEOs: “You are the architects…of a system today that you can undo”

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Paul Marotta/Getty Images
Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns said she gets “concerned” after conversations with white business leaders. 

“It's like speaking to the people who are the oppressed and asking them … to lead to the undoing of the oppression,” she said. 

“What you have to do is not only speak to us. You have to speak to yourselves,” Burns told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “You are the architects and you're the beneficiaries of a system today that you can undo.”

There are only four black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, none of which are women. 

Burns said companies can immediately make their boards more diverse.

African American women, in particular, she said can “diversify the thought, diversify the language, diversify the culture, everything about the companies,” she said.

Burns said that corporations in the United States have been left to monitor themselves to diversify, but they have continuously failed. 

“How many more years do you say to the people who have been excluded ‘Just hold on?’” Burns said.

“How long do you wait? … There are fewer women CEOs today than when I was CEO. And there are significantly fewer black CEOs than when I was CEO. So we're not making a lot of progress here.”

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