AFP, Washington
US President Donald Trump issued an order to improve policing Tuesday, calling for a ban on dangerous choke holds, but he stopped well short of demands made at nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.

"We have to break old patterns of failure," Trump said in a Rose Garden ceremony attended by police and Republican congressional allies, though no black civil rights representatives or political opponents.

His executive order encourages de-escalation training, better recruitment, sharing of data on police who have bad records, and money to support police in complicated duties related to people with mental or drug issues.

A highlight of Trump's proposals, which he said could be complemented by legislation being negotiated in the Republican-controlled Senate, was ending choke holds "except if an officer's life is at risk," he said.

Democrats and civil rights groups say that full-scale rethinking of police culture, and even cuts in police funding, are needed to bring necessary change.

Andrew Bremberg, US ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, admitted US has issues to deal with relating race and police brutality. His statement came hours before the Human Rights Council (HRC) was to open an urgent debate at the request of African countries on racism and "police brutality" against protesters.