On December 18, 2014, Barack Obama officially began the war on police as he signed an Executive Order establishing the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Since the signing of this Executive Order, 134 Officers have been killed in the line of duty. Yet, this has mattered little to Obama who justified his Executive Order as he spoke about “the distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities – the sense that in a country where our basic principle is equality under the law, too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel they are being treated fairly.” In the name of equality, the President wrote that the purpose of his task force was to identify and “bring unity and consensus on best practices to a nation with 18,000 separate law enforcement agencies.”
On March 4, 2015, the task force released its interim report on 21st Century Policing in which the report identified “six pillars on how policing practices can build public trust and promote effective crime reduction” based upon “input from community members, law enforcement officers, associations, stakeholders, academic experts, and civic leaders across the country.” In order to implement the strategies identified in the report, the federal government will “provide funding for state and local police, dependent upon such police departments meeting requirements established by the federal government.” In short, what this means is that the administration will attempt to gain federal control of local police practices via conditions placed on the receipt of federal funds.
According to a multitude of recommendations under the report, the administration stresses the need to change the culture in which police do their work noting that “the use of disrespectful language and the implicit biases that lead officers to rely upon race in the context of Stop and Frisk”, must be abolished. Moreover, the report recommends that the “Federal government create a Law Enforcement Diversity Initiative to help communities diversify Law Enforcement departments to better reflect the demographics of the community…with discretionary Federal funding for Law Enforcement programs influenced by that departments efforts to improve their diversity.”
Lastly, the report notes that the “U.S. Department of Justice should charge its office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) with assisting the law enforcement field in addressing current and future challenges by establishing benchmarks and best practices for Federal, State, and Local police departments.” The report goes on to conclude that the President should “prioritize grant funding to departments meeting benchmarks.” Thus, creating the incentive for over 18,000 separate law enforcement agencies to follow the federal guidelines in order to receive funding.
In order to bring about the systemic reform of policing called for in the report, multiple activist organizations aided by the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice, have gone about exploiting local police communities throughout the country by using actual and perceived instances of injustice to reform entire police departments. Last week, James Cadogan, a senior counselor to the U.S. assistant attorney general, took to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council to highlight and condemn our police on the international stage for their “racism and brutality.”
Cadogan highlighted the past cases which have been exploited by the DOJ beginning with, “The tragic deaths of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Michael Brown in Missouri, Eric Garner in New York, Tamir Rice in Ohio and Walter Scott in South Carolina.” Cadogan then noted that these cases “have renewed a long-standing and critical national debate about the even-handed administration of justice” as “these events challenge us to do better and to work harder for progress — through both dialogue and action.”
Cadogan concluded by adding that the Department of Justice has opened more than 20 investigations in the last six years — including an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department — as well as the release of a report of the Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing in March, which included more than 60 recommendations. A glaring theme becomes apparent within each of the cases that Cadogan highlighted, primarily that being the exploitation of local police communities by Vanita Gupta, the head of the DOJ Civil Rights Division.
On Tuesday, Gupta spoke to the Colorado Lawyers Committee in remarks about the work of the Civil Rights Division. Gupta explained that the source of mistrust between police and the communities they serve couldn’t be “explained away as the kneejerk reaction of the ill-informed or the hyperbolic.” Gupta then went on to state, “It’s in part the product of historical awareness about the role that police have played in enforcing and perpetuating slavery, the Black Codes, lynchings and Jim Crow segregation.”
This fringe viewpoint by Gupta epitomizes the mainstream view among the leftists who populate not only the Civil Rights Division but the Department of Justice as well. “It was no accident that these same leftists produced an absurd self-fulfilling report on Ferguson”, writes J. Christian Adams of PJMedia. “But that hasn’t stopped Gupta from trumpeting the report, or better still, using the report to shake down police departments across the country to change their ways or else.”
Gupta illustrates this point by concluding her speech to the Colorado Lawyers noting that, “in many ways, Ferguson is not an anomaly. Through our work around the country, we know there are similar police and court practices in many places..[and] cities around the country are beginning to re-examine their policing and municipal court practices, though we know there is much more work to do.”
Its unprecedented that our own DOJ would continue to use the example of Ferguson to highlight the need for changes within police communities given the fact that Michael Brown was in no way innocent of the actions that led to his death. The entire narrative that surrounded his death was fabricated and built upon a lie that to this day the media, the DOJ, and the Obama administration continue to peddle. Moreover, by attempting to claim that slavery, Black Codes, Jim Crow, and lynchings are apart of the “implicit bias” and historical context in which police today continue to enforce, the DOJ justifies the actions of thugs whom have used this same argument in order to commit acts of violence against our officers.
This view of our police officers is becoming the norm under the Justice Department, which at the same time is set to further exacerbate this hatred as Obama is set to unleash and fund community organizers on crime filled cities across the nation. By awarding $163 million in grants to various community-activist groups in order to combat urban crime and reduce tensions between racial minorities and the police. The Justice Department is looking for 10 localities to participate in a “collaborative reform” process to serve as a model for the rest of the country, emphasizing “procedural justice” and “implicit bias training.” This will only fuel further unrest by funding many of the so-called “community organizers” responsible for creating anti-police sentiment in American cities.
It should come as no surprise then that in the wake of recent events and events to come that law enforcement officers are at a “tipping point” that could spell dangerous consequences for the communities they serve. Testifying before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke articulated this point. Clarke noted “We’re at a tipping point and it is something that I expressed not too long after what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, about the psyche of the police officer who watches these things go on, just like anybody else does, and the constant bashing and maligning of the profession is starting to take its toll.” According to Clarke, the result of the constant and unrepentant backlash against law enforcement by the Obama administration is inevitably leading to an erosion of “self-initiated” police work.
This is what the war on police looks like, officers are forced to second guess their actions out of fear of being exploited for simply doing their jobs. Look no further than officer Darren Wilson to confirm this fear. To make matters even worse it appears the war against our officers is only just beginning as the president ramps up his effort to polarize, dehumanize, and ultimately destroy the will power that is so essential to each and every individual police officer throughout the country.