Fact check: Trump lies about Obama's record on police


Donald Trump's claim that Barack Obama and Joe Biden did nothing about police abuses is a lie.

Donald Trump on Tuesday accused the previous administration of making no effort to stop abusive policing, ignoring a conspicuous drive by President Barack Obama to do just that.

Trump addressed policing and the pandemic in remarks at the White House for the signing of an executive order encouraging better law enforcement practices.

A look at his statement:

TRUMP, on police practices: "President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their eight-year period. The reason they didn't try is because they had no idea how to do it." — Tuesday at the White House.

THE FACTS: That is false.

Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department opened 25 wide-ranging civil rights investigations into local law enforcement agencies across the country, including police departments in Chicago, Baltimore, and Ferguson, Missouri.

Those investigations were aimed at overhauling troubled departments with patterns of civil rights abuses and generally resulted in court-enforceable consent decrees requiring the agencies to commit to a series of fundamental changes with regard to the use of force, stops, searches, and more.

Besides that, the Obama White House established a task force to come up with best policing practices and to recommend ways to improve community trust while also reducing crime. That task force released its report in 2015.

That year, Obama barred the government from supplying certain types of military equipment to local police departments, a policy Trump reversed two years later.

Public pressure may be more intense on Congress now to pass sweeping laws on policing, after nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But the limited steps Trump took Tuesday steered around Congress.