The Washington Post says in an editorial today:
“IN JANUARY, an investigation by the Justice Department found that the Chicago Police Department routinely used excessive force against the city’s residents, often along racial lines and without accountability. That report recommended federal court oversight of the Chicago police to prevent further abuses. Now, almost nine months later, a federal judge is set to begin supervising the process of reforming Chicago’s police.
But the city of Chicago won’t be working with the Justice Department. Instead, it’s Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan who is bringing the lawsuit to begin negotiations on a federal court decree for police oversight.
The state of Illinois is filling the hole left by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, under whose leadership the Justice Department pulled back from its agreement to negotiate with Chicago to find a mutually agreeable model for court supervision of the city’s police. After months, nothing came of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to find a solution with the Justice Department outside the courts. Now, Mr. Emanuel — who has been reluctant to embrace judicial oversight of Chicago police — has pledged to partner with Ms. Madigan to achieve reform under the watchful eye of a judge.
Chicago is one of several cities left behind by Mr. Sessions’s emphasis on fighting crime over working with unsettled police departments in need of reform — as if protecting civil rights and public safety were somehow incompatible. Two months into his time as attorney general, Mr. Sessions issued a memorandum directing his deputies to review oversight agreements reached by the Obama administration with police departments found to have systematically violated civil rights. The Justice Department then tried to delay an agreement finalized by Obama officials from going into effect in Baltimore, over the objections of the police department itself — only to be rebuked by the judge who gave the reform plan his approval. And recently, the department’s Community Oriented Policing Services Office (COPS) has reportedly failed to provide assessments requested by at least seven local police departments that reached out for help with reform.”
Read the entire editorial at the above link.
Get this! While Gonzo Apocalypto is out spreading his knowingly false narrative about how nannies, gardeners, drywallers, carpenters, health care workers, fast food workers, students, soccer players, and emergency response personnel are threats to the public safety (not surprisingly, a tough sell in many diverse communities that depend on migrant labor and ethnic community participation without regard to legal status) and misusing statistics and anecdotes to support the Trump Administration’s bogus case that local police need tanks and other combat type military equipment to protect the public, the real law enforcement duties of the DOJ are going by the board. Nowhere is this more true than in the area of civil rights and voting rights, where the DOJ is actually working with some states and localities to undermine Americans’ constitutional rights. But, the Department’s “turn back the clock” approach to drug enforcement, prison reform, sentencing reform, forensic science, and community policing is also “built to fail” and deserves censure.
Then, there is the massive failure of justice in the overwhelmed U.S. Immigration Courts. Rather than setting forth a rational plan to restore due process and functionality by reducing dockets, providing more and better training for judges, hiring additional law clerks, closing down “kangaroo courts” in detention centers, giving judges control of individual dockets, implementing statutory contempt authority for judges, establishing a merit-based hiring system that promotes a diverse judiciary, putting resources into technology including e-filing, and making EOIR functionally independent from the DOJ’s political influence and the President’s immigration enforcement initiatives, Sessions has sent a “just peddle faster” message to Immigration Courts that are already peddling so fast that they are careening out of control. The DOJ’s handling of the U.S. Immigration Courts is a national disgrace that will come back to haunt the entire justice system unless or until Coongress or the Article III Courts call a halt!
And Jeff “Gonzo Apocalypto” Sessions is a key part of the problems that his White Nationalist agenda can never solve and, indeed, will continue to aggravate while he holds office.