Taking Over the Nation’s Police Departments

3/6/15
 
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from The Gray Area:

The Ferguson Police Department has engaged in a pattern of racially biased policing, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a forceful address Wednesday, marking the conclusion to a pair of long-awaited federal investigations into the epicenter of unrest sparked by the shooting death of unarmed teen, Michael Brown. “Of course, violence is never justified. But seen in this context – amid a highly toxic environment, defined by mistrust and resentment, stoked by years of bad feelings, and spurred by illegal and misguided practices – it is not difficult to imagine how a single, tragic incident set off the city of Ferguson like a powder keg,” Holder said.

It appears from even a cursory reading of this report, that Ferguson and surrounding communities are targeting blacks and some whites for money. That it has been going on for a period of time. That surrounding communities are competing for this revenue. That this should clearly be stopped.

However, there are three other points that need not be overlooked in this discussion.

1. Officer Darren Wilson was completely exonerated. … the Department of Justice announced it would not pursue charges against Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer responsible for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. … Attorney General Holder could barely bring himself to share that news. It struck [JEFF ROORDA, ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION] that this … leak of information … in advance of the announcement that the Justice Department determined the same thing that the much derided grand jury here decided. And that was that Darren Wilson was the victim of an attempted murder and that he used reasonable force … that’s established beyond a reasonable doubt.

2. Eric Holder has been on a mission.By the time he announced his plan to resign last September, he’d initiated 20 department probes across the country, from Miami to Portland. And after those investigations turned up patterns of misconduct, such as “police brutality, abuse of the mentally ill, and excessive deadly force,” those departments committed to making changes that lined up with DOJ recommendations.

As these legal attacks by the DOJ were being initiated, the Assistant Attorney General stated that the Civil Rights Division was open for business again. Making the assumption that civil rights violations occur on a daily basis throughout America, they took every opportunity to jump in and prove their preconceived notion. For example, federal officials lectured Ferguson residents about “white privilege.” Finding a different set of violations and corruption in Ferguson and surrounds and not the solely race-fueled cause of the unrest, doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that DOJ on it’s civil rights mission was able to go in, investigate, and write a report they had written before the investigation. Most police departments in the US are extremely fair and well run operations and should be applauded, not painted with a broad brush of racial discrimination.

3. This amounts to a federal takeover of state/city police departments. Through federal investigations, threats and lawsuits, the Justice Department has utilized the same bullying tactics that the left uses against political foes; demonize, threaten, and sue. When the accused cannot possibly fund (money & resources) a defense against the resources of the US Government, the defendant gives up and the Justice Department goes in an basically takes over. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice could go as far as dismantling the Ferguson Police Department to ensure change after the DOJ report that found it discriminated against blacks in the Missouri city. In another example, the U.S. Justice Department and New Mexico’s largest city have reached an agreement to overhaul Albuquerque’s police department This process cost Albuquerque $15,000,000.

What should be done in these situations? The DOJ should;
- not have an agenda when they conduct investigations.
- notify the states of their civil rights or other concerns.
- first allow the states to conduct an investigation.
- conduct their own investigation if the result of the state’s effort is unsatisfactory for some reason.
- let the facts write the report.
- not downplay good work done that they had previously condemned (the Ferguson Grand Jury decision).
- go out of their way to highlight the good facts along with the problem areas.
- expect the states to sue the DOJ for return of the cost of the investigation if the DOJ investigation turns out to be a wild goose chase.
- turn over any findings and recommended corrective actions to the states for implementation.

We must be extremely careful about these aggressive Justice Dept actions around the country. A national police force, controlled by the executive branch of the federal government, represents another unconstitutional overreach by this administration and would be catastrophic to social order and culture.