The Obama administration tragically presided over a worsening of race relations and a deterioration of respect for local police. This is the opposite of what one would have hoped for from the nation's first black president, yet the facts remain what they are. The tragedies in places such as Ferguson and the rise of the group Black Lives Matter all point to failure, not success. At least not unless the desire was to create those circumstances that would invite federal involvement in local law enforcement.
This is the position taken by conservative talk show host Mark Levin. Here's the gist of Levin's argument:
Conservative talk radio host Mark Levin recently took to the air and charged Obama and Holder with demonizing police in the eyes of the public in order to break down local departments in an ultimate agenda to nationalize them.
“[W]hat’s going on there?” Levin stated. “It’s a war on the cops. They want to nationalize local police departments. Nationalize them to ruin them. To control them.”
“All of a sudden every cop is supposed to wear a video camera. Why? Because they can’t trust be trusted don’t you know?” Levin stated.
Is this really what is going on? Would the Obama administration pursue policies that would actually stoke racial tensions as an excuse for additional federal intervention in local government responsibilities? Back to Baltimore in order to get a better view of the latest actions.
Sweeping policy changes meant to change the way officers do their jobs will be implemented at the Baltimore Police Department.
The city’s five-member Board of Estimates voted unanimously Thursday in favor of a court-enforceable agreement, or consent decree, with the federal government. The 200+-page improvement plan was filed in federal court.
Here are the conclusions of a federal government inquiry into policing practices in Baltimore.
The agreement comes after months of negotiations over how best to repair problems with the department’s practices, detailed in a Department of Justice report released in August.
The DOJ started investigating the department following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in April 2015.
The 163-page report found that officers routinely discriminated against black city residents, repeatedly used excessive force and were not adequately held accountable for misconduct.
There is a very lengthy list of actions that the Baltimore Police Department has agreed to take, all under the watchful eye of the US Department of Justice, of course. And there is the clear implication that the other “18,000 police departments in America” should follow the same federal directives that have been put in place in Baltimore.
[Baltimore Police Department Commissioner Kevin] Davis continued to say his hope is that “a year or so from now, for the remainder of the 18,000 police departments in America, when they look at Baltimore, they look at us as a place to go to figure out how we turn things around.”
Yet the police officers who must actually live with this consent degree or seek employment elsewhere are not universally happy with it.
The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police was critical of the decree, releasing a statement following the morning press conference.
“Despite continued assurances by representatives of the Department of Justice that our organization would be included in the Consent Decree negotiations, no request to participate was ever forthcoming and we were not involved in the process. As we were not afforded an advance copy of the agreement, neither our rank and file members who will be the most affected, nor our Attorneys, have had a chance to read the final product and, as such, we will not have a comment now. Be assured, however, that a response will be forthcoming at the appropriate time.”
There should also be a response from Americans. Policing cities is a local issue best handled by local police departments. Alleged abuses by officers should be investigated and prosecuted when evidence indicates that an offense occurred. But having the federal government dictate policies for which they bear no responsibility for implementation is to set a dangerous precedent.
And if race-baiting and incitement have been encouraged as a pretext for pushing a agenda to nationalize the nation's police forces, then the real offenders were Attorney General Lynch and her boss, both of whom are fortunately no longer in office.
Source: CBS News