MORE TRUMPIAN DISCONNECT — THE WAR ON AMERICAN CITIZENS’ RIGHTS CONTINUES: Sessions’s DOJ “Civil Rights” Div. Sent Out To Undercut Civil Rights In Baltimore Court Case — “Unprecedented And Extraordinary” — “We Are In Uncharted Territory” — “Dissed” Citizen-Victim Left In Tears By DOJ Action — In The “World Of Sessions,” Citizens’ Constitutional Rights Take Back Seat To “Fighting Crime” — Duh, Isn’t Unwarranted/Unnecessary Police Violence A Crime, Jeff? — Liz Was “Right On!”

Peter Hermann and Justin Jouvenal report in the Washington Post:

“BALTIMORE — A Justice Department attorney expressed “grave concerns” Thursday about moving forward with a federal plan to make changes to this city’s police department, telling a federal judge that the Trump administration prefers that revisions be made and overseen by local government.

The hearing to gather public input on the proposed consent decree became a clash over the future of police departments, as Baltimore residents affected by police shootings and beatings forcefully pushed back against any delays.

The hearing came just days after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would have top deputies review such agreements with departments nationwide.

Sessions said he wanted to ensure the agreements align with administration priorities of promoting officer safety and morale while fighting violent crime, but advocates say the move could stymie much-needed changes to departments in the wake of high-profile police shootings of minorities in recent years.

The tension was on display Thursday, as well as an unusual role reversal — the Justice Department distanced itself from its plan negotiated by President Barack Obama’s administration, while Baltimore officials, residents and activists openly embraced it.

“Please do not delay this decree,” implored Greta Carter-Willis, whose 14-year-old son was fatally shot by a police officer several years ago. “We need to turn this police department around.”

She later broke down crying.

The consent decree follows a blistering Justice Department report that found widespread constitutional violations and discrimination in the Baltimore Police Department. The report was prompted by the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody.

John Gore, the acting assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of Justice, said in court Thursday that the department wanted a 30-day delay on a decision to implement the plan “so new leadership can reanalyze and engage with the city as necessary.

Ultimately, “it is up to local communities to try and work with police to try and ensure reforms are implemented fully,” Gore said. “We have grave concerns that this consent decree is what is needed” as the means to change the police force and help fight crime.”

. . . .

Jonathan Smith, executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, called the situation in Baltimore “unprecedented and extraordinary.” He said there is no precedent for a lead party to pull out after a consent decree is signed and the matter is before the court. “We are in uncharted territory.”

Smith, was in the Justice Department’s civil rights division under the Obama administration from 2010 through 2015 and negotiated a consent decree with the New Orleans Police Department.”


The grotesque spectacle of Jeff Sessions in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice continues to get more jaw-dropping every day.

It wasn’t long ago that Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Nuke Em” McConnell (R-KY) shut down Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) while she was trying to “complete the record” on Sessions’s total unsuitability to be in charge of overseeing the delivery of justice in America and protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans (which actually includes immigrants who are entitled to constitutional due process protections). Everybody who doubted the truth of her message owes Sen. Warren a huge apology. And, those Senators who voted to confirm Sessions as AG should be ashamed.

Ever wonder how much damage one man can do the the U.S. justice system? Well, we’re finding out. And, it isn’t pretty.





A.G. Sessions To Citizens Who Suffered Police Brutality: Go Pound Sand! — Busting Criminals, Deporting Migrants, Policing Tech Employers Takes Precedence Over Civil Rights Protections For African Americans — Baltimore Police Reformers Forced To “Stand Alone” After DOJ Pulls The Rug Out From Underneath Them!

Lynh Bui and Peter Hermann report in the Washington Post:

“BALTIMORE — After the federal government released a searing 163-page report in August condemning police practices in Baltimore, the police commissioner and mayor stood with Justice Department leaders to promise sweeping reform.

Change was necessary, they all said, not only to prevent riots like those that flared after the fatal injury of Freddie Gray in police custody, but also to repair the long-standing, deep rift between the city’s crime-weary residents and its police.

Nine months later, Baltimore’s mayor and police commissioner again appeared before television cameras committing to overhaul the department.

But this time they stood by themselves.

“I’m asking the citizens of Baltimore to have faith that we will continue this work,” Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D) said Tuesday. “It’s hard to deny that these kinds of reforms don’t need to take place in the city of Baltimore.”
On January 12, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the Justice Dept. reached a deal for sweeping reforms to the Baltimore Police Dept. after a federal review found officers routinely violated residents’ civil rights. (Reuters)
The pledge to move ahead came hours after the Justice Department had asked a federal judge Monday night to postpone the department’s tentative police reform agreement with the city — part of a wider review of pacts nationwide ordered by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Baltimore consent agreement was announced days before President Trump took office and awaits a federal judge’s approval.

The request for a delay, which a judge has yet to rule on, left some Baltimore leaders and residents worried that momentum will wane and leave the city stuck in a familiar loop of unfulfilled promises.

Interim city solicitor David Ralph would not comment Tuesday on whether the city would file a response to the requested delay.

“It seemed clear that Justice was going ahead with these reforms, and now all of a sudden they don’t want to do it,” said Rebecca Nagle, co-director of the No Boundaries Coalition, a ­resident-led advocacy group.

The coalition helped organize residents to relay their experiences with city police to the Justice Department team that produced the August report, which concluded that the police department engaged in unconstitutional policing that discriminated against black residents in poor communities through illegal searches, arrests and stops for minor offenses.
“Residents invested two years doing this, and not going forward will destroy the trust that has built up,” Nagle said.

In Sessions’s two-page memo ordering the review of open and pending consent decrees, he said the department wants to guarantee the pacts are in line with Trump administration goals of promoting officer safety and morale while fighting violent crime.

“The Federal government alone cannot successfully address rising crime rates, secure public safety, protect and respect the civil rights of all members of the public, or implement best practices in policing,” the memo stated. “These are, first and foremost, tasks for state, local and tribal law enforcement.”


Now, I might only be a retired Immigration Judge, not a civil rights expert. But, even I can tell that if “state and local law enforcement” could solve this problem, it would have been solved long ago.

In fact, until former Attorney General Lynch and the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division intervened, state and local authorities had done their best to cover up the problems and avoid solving them. (And, I’m by no means a fan of Lynch. She was appropriately very interested in vindicating the civil rights of African Americans. But, she wasn’t interested in the human rights of mostly Hispanic women and children fleeing Central America. She aided and abetted a system of detention of such asylum applicants under deplorable conditions and hustling their cases through the U.S. Immigration Courts, in too many cases without full due process or even an opportunity for a fair hearing.)

No, what Sessions really means is that he has no interest whatsoever in helping the African American community vindicate their civil rights if it means clamping down on police abuses. After all, look at the “bang up” job that Session’s home state, Alabama, did on protecting its African American citizens from police abuses for most of the 20th Century. Who could ask for more? Or, perhaps we should get a “second opinion” from Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) who had his head split open by one of Sessions’s “police heroes,” an Alabama State Trooper.

That’s what often happens when the Feds rely on states and localities to vindicate citizen’s constitutional rights against the state’s own abuses. Classic “fox guarding the chicken coop.” Sort of like having Jeff Sessions protecting the rights of minorities and migrants. Yeah, the Birmingham Bridge incident was in 1965. But, Sessions and his gang have every intention of turning the clock back to those “glory days” of state’s rights.

Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was “silenced” on the Senate floor for “disparaging” a colleague, Senator Sessions, by putting the truth about his tone-deaf record on civil and human rights “in the record.” But, silenced or not, Warren spoke truth about Session’s unsuitability to serve as Attorney General. Sadly, African Americans, Hispanics, members of the LGBT community, and migrants are likely to find out first hand that “he’s still the same ol’ Jeff.”