The following article contains editorial content written by a former police officer and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
WASHINGTON, DC- Remember back around, oh seven weeks or so ago when Democrats in Congress were singing the praises of law enforcement, of course because it was politically expedient? Ah yes, good times.
We are of course referring to January 6, the date of “The Great US Capitol Insurrection,” where the only weapon fired was the one that killed a Trump supporter.
On that day, averting murder and mayhem, politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defied death even from thousands of feet away as she hid in her office.
For days, Democrats sang the praises of law enforcement officers who put down that which threatened the very Republic we call home, led by Viking man, he of the double-horned hat.
This is of course not a knock on the Capitol police officers who were put in an untenable situation.
The knock is on the opportunists who have a “D” after their name, who when it was an opportunity to attack President Trump and his supporters by holding up law enforcement, jumped in with both feet.
It didn’t take long however for the script to flip.
On Wednesday, they reverted back to their “cops are evil” mantra by reintroducing a bill named after a man who died of a drug overdose while in police custody, but which caused a summer full of violence, destruction, looting, assault and murder.
On Thursday, House Democrats passed the bill, without a single Republican vote. In fact, two sane Democrats jumped ship and joined Republicans in voting it down.
The bill, HR-1280 is a giant slap in the face to the very same police officers Pelosi, Schumer, Harris, and other hypocrites held up as heroes around two months ago.
One of the most controversial and potentially damaging provisions of the bill is the elimination of qualified immunity, which offers police officers a modicum of protection from frivolous lawsuits. Politicians, however still enjoy the protection of qualified immunity, a travesty if there ever was one.
Heather MacDonald, one of the foremost criminal justice experts in the country explains numerous problems contained in the bill, including the elimination of qualified immunity, as well as the requirement that police be forced to profile people, but not for the reasons you may think.
Under the law, police departments are forced to maintain statistics about police contacts not only by race but by sex (unknown if that’s sexual preference, what the identify as, or if it’s broken down among the 152 genders).
Since males commit crimes at a much higher rate than women, as well as commit traffic violations at a similar higher rate, the requirement is fraught with problems. Here is MacDonald in an interview with Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News.
Because if there is a class of people any more deserving of getting their ass sued for malpractice than members of Congress, we don’t know who they are.
According to Fox News, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that House Democrats, in concert with the Biden administration will continue working on the act until it becomes law.
Formally known as HR-1280, “The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020,” the bill would impose a wide-ranging variety of standards, restrictions, and mandates and would effectively tie the hands of police across the country.
Pelosi said Wednesday:
“Today, by re-introducing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House is again joining the American people to turn this moment of agony into one of action, as we honor George Floyd’s life and the lives of all killed by police brutality,” she said in a statement.
Killed by police brutality? In 2019, 27 unarmed black males were killed by police officers, far less than unarmed whites so killed. Out of those who were killed, some of them were deemed justifiable with only a small number being deemed excessive use of force.
In the case of Floyd, an autopsy showed he had numerous underlying co-morbidities, as well as the fact he was under the influence of fentanyl and likely at levels at which he would have overdosed.
However, due to the optics of his arrest, he has become a martyr for the radicals on the left and has completely turned the conversation on race in the United States upside down.
Pelosi claimed that last year, there were more police killings than in 2019, while claiming that minority groups were “bearing the brunt of this cruelty.”
Pelosi is statistically correct…barely. According to Statista, in 2020 there were 1,004 police shootings while in 2019 there were 999 fatal police shootings.
There was no breakdown as to justified police shootings, however an overwhelming number of police shootings annually are classified as justified. So Pelosi, true to form is engaging in hyperbole by insinuating police are hunting people down.
While anti-cop politicians and activists claim that more blacks are killed per capita annually than whites, the devil is in the details.
However lost in those statistics is the fact that blacks offend at a much higher rate than whites, in fact at a rate nearly three times the rate of whites. They commit 36% of the violent crimes in the US, despite being only 13% of the population.
Pelosi went on:
“Working with the Biden-Harris Administration and the millions of Americans marching and demanding action, we will not stop working until this legislation becomes law.”
This bill would place federal control over law enforcement standards…you know, the same federal government who used a foreign spy to further a collusion hoax against a major party presidential candidate and the same federal government that can’t get mail to people’s houses in under a month in some cases.
Now we are going to turn over law enforcement oversight to them?
This bag full of cow dung would:
- Establish a national standard for the operation of police departments
- Mandate data collection on police encounters
- Reprogram existing funds to invest in transformative community-based policing programs [read “reimagine” or “defund” police]
- Streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force and establish independent prosecutors for police investigations
First of all, we should introduce Congress to something called CALEA. That stands for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
CALEA has various tiers of accreditation for police departments and standards are developed by law enforcement professionals…not government bureaucrats. Why do they want to reinvent the wheel?
CALEA accredited departments tend to have lower incidents of things such as racial profiling, ensure high standards of performance, and actually enjoy lowered insurance premiums because of it.
Secondly, addressing data collection, there is a plethora of evidence already collected on matters such as racial profiling.
Numerous states across the country are already collecting extensive data on police encounters, and the Department of Justice issues annual statistics on police encounters, including deadly force incidents, encounters by race, etc.
Once again, reinventing the wheel for something already in progress.
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Third, the most transparent key point, “reprogram[ming] existing funds to invest in transformative community-based policing programs” is code word for defunding the police and taking those funds and hiring psychologists and social workers, who need to find a job after they spent $250,000 on a gender studies major at Columbia.
Remember last summer when Kamala Harris was helping bail out rioters in Minneapolis and when she used to talk about the need to “reimagine” policing?
This is code word for taking money out of police departments and putting it into hiring more bureaucrats in towns, cities and states across the country.
The last point above speaks to the need to “streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force” and “establish independent prosecutors for police investigations.”
Once again, the federal government is trying to interfere in the right of states to regulate their own police departments. Most states currently have legislation in place which does exactly what the federal government is planning on doing. This is redundant.
Other “highlights” of the bill:
End Racial and Religious profiling– already done in most states, with departments mandated to submit statistics
Ban Chokeholds & No Knock Warrants- an overwhelming majority of departments already ban the practice of chokeholds; banning of no knock warrants can be an officer safety issue, however there is probably room to more closely regulate the issuance of these warrants
Limit Military Equipment on American Streets & Requires Body Cameras- Have you seen Washington, DC lately? Quite a bit of military equipment down there right now. But hey, that’s to protect the political class. Walls don’t work except for members of Congress.
After 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing, police departments were able to avail themselves of surplus military equipment in order to deal with better armed threats. It isn’t like police departments are using surplus F-16’s or Apache helicopters.
The body cameras would require uniformed federal officers to wear body cameras and would order local and state police agencies to use any existing federal funds to acquire same.
Hold Police Accountable in Court- Make it easier for overzealous federal prosecutors to go after police by amending a federal statute to prosecute so-called police misconduct. The mens rea standard will be amended from “willfulness” to “recklessness,” a much lower standard.
This section would also eliminate qualified immunity for officers, enabling anyone arrested to go after officers in civil court, making them personally liable. This could literally put officers in the poor house, putting their homes and families at great financial peril to overzealous ambulance-chasing attorneys and criminals with a grudge.
Investigate Police Misconduct– will grant the Department of Civil Rights Division subpoena power and would create a grant program for state attorney’s general to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into “problematic” police departments
Empower Our Communities to Reimagine Public Safety in an Equitable and Just Way– this is the “defund the police” part of the bill.
The bill “reinvests in our communities by supporting critical community-based organizations to change the culture of law enforcement and empower our communities to reimagine public safety in an equitable and just way. [emphasis added]. Equity. Not equal opportunity, equality of outcomes.
Don’t treat everyone the same, just make sure there is equity in how you treat them. If you don’t see this as a problem, look up equity. Democrats like to use the word “equity” a lot.
There is also some psychobabble in there about public safety innovation grants to “create local commissions and task forces to help communities re-imagine and develop concrete, just and equitable (there it is again) public safety approaches.
Think once again a bunch of untrained social justice warriors and critical race theory-pushing bureaucrats sticking their nose in law enforcement.
Change the Culture of Law Enforcement with Training to Build Integrity and Trust– this goes back to the law enforcement accreditation standards created by a bunch of political hacks, would also get involved with police training to develop so-called “best practices.”
Oh, they’re also looking to “study the impact of laws or rules that allow a law enforcement officer to delay answers to questions posed by investigators of law enforcement misconduct.” Huh?
In other words, they are trying to deny due process to police officers accused of misconduct. There are currently laws in place which force officers to answer questions with refusal to do so putting the officer subject to penalties up to and including termination.
However, in that case, if the officer does make a statement basically under duress, that is inadmissible in court. Democrats are basically saying they want to circumvent police officers’ constitutional rights. Good luck with that.
It would require the attorney general to collect all manners of data relative to investigatory actions and/or detentions by federal police agencies, racial distribution of drug charges, use of deadly force by and against police officers as well as traffic and pedestrian stops and detentions.
Improve Transparency by Collecting Data on Police Misconduct and Use-of-Force– create a “nationwide police misconduct registry” which would prevent officers who are fired or leave one agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability. Nowhere is it defined what a “problematic” officer is.
There is a requirement of a use of force database, which seems to be about the only reasonable thing in the bill
The bill now goes to the Senate where it is expected to be a close vote given the 50/50 split. It is unknown if any Democrats will vote against the bill.
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