Monday, May 30, 2011 16:01 ET
Obama cracks down on abuses by big-city police departments
By Justin Elliott
Full Story: Salon.com
Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, center, talks about a federal investigation of the Newark Police Department during a May 9 news conference with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, far left.
In a marked shift from the Bush administration, President Obama’s Justice Department is aggressively investigating several big urban police departments for systematic civil rights abuses such as harassment of racial minorities, false arrests, and excessive use of force.
In interviews, activists and attorneys on the ground in several cities where the DOJ has dispatched civil rights investigators welcomed the shift. To progressives disappointed by Eric Holder’s Justice Department on key issues like the failure to investigate Bush-era torture and the prosecution of whistle-blowers, recent actions by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division are a bright spot.
In just the past few months, the Civil Rights Division has announced “pattern and practice” investigations in Newark, New Jersey and Seattle. It’s also conducting a preliminary investigation of the Denver Police Department, and all this is on top of a high-profile push to reform the notorious New Orleans Police Department — as well as criminal prosecutions of several New Orleans officers.
The “pattern and practice” authority comes from a 1994 law passed by Congress after the brutal beating of Rodney King by white Los Angeles police officers, who allegedly yelled racial slurs as they hit him. The law allows the DOJ to sue police departments if there is a pattern of violations of citizens’ constitutional rights — things like an excessive use of force, discrimination, and illegal searches. Often, after an investigation, the police department in question will enter into a voluntary reform agreement with the DOJ to avoid a lawsuit and the imposition of reforms. Full Story: Salon.com
Give Me a Friggin Break, Somebody Please!
It is Classic Obama, give this and take that. I have always equated him to a lover who never keeps a date, and then shows up with lavish gifts just when you were gonna kick him to the curb. Classic, and check it out Bill, when he brings charges against the Bush Neo-cons for their war crimes, I will be a believer. And then only after the trials have ensued and the charges meted out.. Other wise, my dear Mr. Obama is an Illusionist, (the Prestige, watch that one for sure) remember the movie?
While doing this in the front, he does that in the back. Like the US refusal to support the World Conference Against Racism. They are poised to veto the UN mandate, because of their alliance with Israel. What does it mean?? If he does not crack down on the real culprits, these steps are crumbs cast out to the hungry birds who need much more, Bill. US boycotts World Conference Against Racism. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/01/us-boycott-world-conference-racism_n_869971.html. This is a major slap in the face, especially in view of police brutality, which is predominately generated by racism. You see what I mean?? This is a classic, look, don’t look at what I ain’t doing, look at what little I am doing, and that is a lot considering, right??
What about DC, Philadelphia, NY, Los Angeles, come on man, these atrocities hit the world news… Seattle??? Give me a break. Somebody, help a sistah out, what happened in Seattle that got the president’s attention?? I really wanna know, man!
Man, when people finally wake up, it is going to be some serious hullabaloo going on. Quiet as it’s kept, black folk have been the ones in the movies, etc, to show the compassion needed to help the other guy when the other guy wouldn’t help him out. So, deep in the heart of Texas, that thought was there for white folks. Course, I ain’t do no survey, I just been a black woman in America.. anyways, I can see how they would have voted for him, thinking he was gonna save the day. Bring some humanity into the office of President, but he didn’t. In fact, the only thing that makes him seem like the great Black Hope is his skin color. Everything else is the same shit, just different President! They picked the perfect dude, if white folks say anything, they are racist, and if black folks say anything, they are haters. You got give them credit for this one, it’s ingenious!!