The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
WASHINGTON, DC- On its face, the federal government getting involved in oversight of local police departments appears to be just typical nanny-state interference. A deeper dive however seems to indicate something much more ominous is at play.
As we have seen since January 20, Congressional Democrats, mad and obsessed with power are doing everything they can to centralize power and control in Washington, DC. It is for this very reason that we have a Constitutional Republic to begin with.
Anyone who has been following the events in Minneapolis for the past year, and by extension in the rest of the country knew that no matter what the results of the Derek Chauvin trial were, the mob would never be satiated.
Oh sure, there were many who believed that if the jury came back with a guilty verdict that Black Lives Matter and the rest of the anti-cop crowd would be satisfied. Anyone paying attention knew that would not be the case.
After George Floyd’s death last May, cities burned, people were threatened and assaulted, members of Congress capitulated to the mob, and corporations opened up their checkbooks, thinking they could pay off the mob and hope they would leave them alone. That of course, was not enough…it never is.
All one needs to do is look at the Black Lives Matter Global Network’s website and you can see that they are not about reforming the police—they are about eliminating the police, well at least on a local level.
They want to eliminate prisons, get rid of ICE and open the borders to anyone who wants to come into our country. So in a word, the guilty verdict on Chauvin, in the grand scheme of things means nothing.
As Andrew Cuff writes in The Federalist, the so-called “anti-racism movement” seeks to “remake society, or at least get rich by doing so.” As he notes, after Chauvin’s verdict, the talking points went out and from members of Congress to left-wing media and we were told that there was “more work to be done.”
So what exactly is meant by “more work?” Well we found that out when it was announced that the feds had indicted Chauvin, along with the other three officers in the case (who have yet to be tried) for federal civil rights violations.
The three officers were charged as accomplices whereby they collaborated with Chauvin to deny Floyd’s Fourth Amendment rights.
Actually, the indictment of Chauvin on federal civil rights violations was a fait accompli, as reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which said that federal officers had a secret plan to arrest Chauvin for those same civil rights charges if he was acquitted by the jury.
As Cuff notes, what is the purpose in arresting Chauvin and the other three officers no matter what the jury decided on Chauvin? Also, why is the federal government under the auspices of the Department of Justice getting involved in what amounted to a local police matter?
And why was a grand jury convened to bring charges against the four former officers?
One issue that was never raised throughout the entire trial of Chauvin was that what was done to Floyd had any racial component to it whatsoever. There was never an allegation made by the prosecution that Floyd was treated disparately because of his race and that of the four officers. So why then the civil rights violations?
Even far-left nutjob Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he didn’t believe that Chauvin showed any racial animus in his conduct. Video of the incident prior to the now-infamous nine or ten minutes showed that Floyd was treated with respect by the officers, with zero indication of any racial bias.
One has to believe that if Donald Trump was still president and William Barr was still attorney general, the Justice Department would have let things run their course instead of doubling down on putting the arm on these four officers.
As it is, Chauvin is looking at a significant sentence (if his conviction isn’t thrown out, which it should be due to juror malfeasance), so why is the DOJ engaging in what amounts to double jeopardy?
Look at who Biden has stacked his administration with? They are a bunch of far-left radicals, many with neo-Marxist leanings. Attorney General Merrick Garland is also a far-left loon who thank God was derailed from being appointed to the Supreme Court in 2016. However he can probably do more damage as attorney general than he could have done as a sole Supreme Court justice.
Garland’s decision to convene a grand jury for the purposes of indicting the four officers is nothing less than an attempt to undermine local law enforcement and transfer jurisdiction from local authorities to the federal government.
As Cuff notes, Garland has no fear of abusing his office because in the era of cancel culture, Americans and even some conservatives are fearful of speaking out.
He also noted that institutions that used to be reliably pro-liberty such as The Cato Institute have bowed to the woke mob. In 2004, the Institute had in fact published a whitepaper entitled “A Grand Façade: How the Grand Jury Was Captured by Government,” in which they railed against federal grand juries, saying they serve as nothing more than rubber stamps for federal authorities. That is no longer the case.
Indeed, Cato had Chauvin convicted just days after the May 25, 2020 incident, noting that law enforcement enjoyed a “near zero-accountability” policy.
They have asked for officers to be stripped of qualified immunity, and have suggested that the DOJ get even greater powers over local jurisdictions. This is a sea change for Cato, which used to be known as a “small government,” libertarian centered organization.
Of course, this didn’t just come about over the past year. The feds have long sought to gain control over local police.
What is ironic is that while the federal government, i.e. the DOJ rails against local police violating people’s rights, one need only look at the hijinks pulled off by the FBI over the past four years or so if you want to see what real law enforcement overreach looks like.
Look at the so-called “insurrection” in Washington, DC on Jan. 6. The FBI had agents fan out across the country looking for anyone who was not only IN the Capitol on that date but anyone who was NEAR the Capitol on that date. Hundreds of people have been rounded up, many having not even been charged with a crime.
Meanwhile, thousands of thugs who engaged in riots for the better part of six months, in Portland for nearly a year are still walking the streets, many of them never charged with as much as a parking ticket, while others have had their charges dismissed.
Who posed a greater threat to our country? People who may have trespassed at the Capitol on Jan. 6, or those who burned buildings (including the federal courthouse in Portland), assaulted police, and murdered people?
We have seen over the past several years the feds undergoing what Cuff called a “dystopian expansion of manpower and authority.” For four years under President Trump, this was kept somewhat in check, although failure of the DOJ to fully prosecute those who attempted a soft coup of Trump seems to be proof positive that the deep state, aka the swamp is for real.
We have seen surveillance of Americans, including the media (more accurately conservative media, left-wing media gets a pass) by the CIA, FBI, DOJ and other federal law enforcement authorities, who “devote massive resources to monitoring, prosecuting, and ‘reforming’ local police using tools like consent decrees in order to pursue the latest left-wing agenda item.
Look at what happened in Baltimore under a DOJ “consent decree.” Crime has exploded and officers are leaving in droves; the department currently has a shortage of around 800 officers, as criminals roam the streets unabated and murder rates soar. Why? Police are afraid to do anything at risk of facing federal charges.
Just last October, a federal judge overseeing the consent decree expressed “frustration” over the lack of results some three and one-half years into it..
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What are some of the issues under which police departments subject to consent decrees find themselves? Racism, gender inequity in hiring or even “misgendering” detainees; these are all official DOJ reports and memos.
Over the past year, leftists have trumpeted the “defund the police” mantra, however things are not as they appear. As Andrew McCarthy noted in National Review, this isn’t simply about having social workers respond to calls or emotionally or mentally unstable persons.
It is about a federal takeover of local law enforcement; the same feds who spent all last summer looking the other way as cities burned, but who suddenly turned into Dirty Harry when it came to people who trespassed at the US Capitol.
McCarthy refers to it as “anarcho-tyranny,” defined as “the ruthless suppression of politically disfavored activity by federal law enforcement while violent crime is tolerated or endorsed.”
As Jonathan Goldstein wrote in Broad and Liberty, last year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, governors in states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and others used law enforcement officers as their enforcement arm for compliance with their draconian shutdown orders.
Meanwhile, these same governors turned a blind eye as violent riots took place in cities throughout their states, with some local officials actually ordering their police to stand down in the midst of the carnage.
In many times, the victims were the same ones who were threatened with arrest for opening their businesses. It was like a double-whammy.
Goldstein spoke of Philadelphia under far-left wingnut DA Larry Krasner, where violent criminals are set free before the ink dries on their arrest reports, which law-abiding citizens and businesses get hit with confiscatory crimes.
Take a look at cities such as Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Louis. This is what not only American cities but suburban and rural towns would look like then the wokesters in Washington, DC have total control of local police departments and bureaucrats such as Merrick Garland are running the show.
Look at what Biden did just this past week? In his proclamation on National Police Week and Law Enforcement Memorial Day, Biden couldn’t help himself and took the opportunity to once again slam law enforcement and portray police officers as a bunch of racist goons.
The Chauvin trial verdict should serve as a cautionary tale as well. When a jury can be intimidated into voting guilty out of fear of what a not guilty verdict would bring, we are no longer a free country and we no longer have a blind criminal justice system. The fact that the jury was not sequestered, that there was not a change of venue and that a sitting member of Congress intentionally attempted to intimidate the jury has put a stain on our criminal justice system.
This isn’t to say that Chauvin wasn’t guilty. But was there enough reasonable doubt introduced in his trial which should have mandated a not guilty verdict or a hung jury? Possibly. But that doesn’t matter because the mob and Joe Biden decided he was guilty not at the end of his trial but last May 25.
The American people should take a long, hard look at what the federal government did (or didn’t do) to deal with last summer’s carnage. Where President Trump wanted to send in federal assistance to help local cops, the Democrats lost their collective minds.
What happens the next time when Biden is president? We saw a weak, tepid response when a Republican, a law and order president was in the White House. What will happen when a weak-kneed, cognitively impaired leftist is in charge?
Do not dismiss out of hand the possibility that Democrats would love nothing more than to have total federal control over law enforcement. As we’ve seen over the first 100-something days of Biden’s administration, the Democrats are more concerned about solidifying their hold on power than they are about the American people.
Many people blew off the indictment of the four Minneapolis police officers as just desserts. For those paying attention, it should serve as a warning sign. The federal government is targeting local police departments, as well as American citizens. Everyone needs to pay close attention.
What would a national federal police agency be called? The Gestapo or KGB have a ring to them.
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