Now since going on duty in Houston I've had limited interaction with federal law enforcement but what I've had was good. I have no real issue with federal agents. They have a job to do like us. However, this is to say the least a bit over the top.
As Justice Department Scrutinizes Local Police, Cleveland Is Latest Focus
CLEVELAND — As cries of “shots fired” shrieked from police radios, a caravan that grew to 62 patrol cars chased an old blue Malibu through 20 miles of this city’s streets and highways. The vehicle and its two occupants were surrounded in a school lot, and in a disorienting jumble of sirens and strobes, officers fired 137 rounds at close range.
When the shooting stopped that night in November 2012, a man and a woman, both African-American, were dead, riddled with bullets in the car’s front seat. There was no evidence that either had a gun. Investigations suggested that they had set out to purchase crack cocaine in a car that apparently backfired as it passed an officer, and then panicked when the police tried to pull them over.
Late last month, one officer was indicted on manslaughter charges and five supervisors were charged with criminal dereliction of duty.
The Department of Justice has also opened a wide-ranging civil rights investigation that could lead to years of court oversight and mandated controls on the use of force.
It is the latest in a series of sharp federal interventions in police departments across the country, part of an initiative that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. considers a signature achievement, forcing change and accountability on insular police departments.
“For me, it’s kind of personal,” Mr. Holder said in an interview. In his days as a prosecutor and a judge in Washington, D.C., he recalled, strong criminal cases had crumbled because jurors mistrusted the police.
“Sometimes people think a choice has to be made between lawful, respectful policing and effective policing,” Mr. Holder said. “I think they are mutually dependent.”
I don't know the details of this incident and from what I can gather Cleveland is not as supportive of law enforcement as Texas. I'll just say let the process go along and give the cops their day in court. If they did wrong, they should beheld to account and the county/state have procedures for this. Now having the Holder DOJ say they will oversee the operations of this agency is a disgrace. We know it's personal to you Eric. The chip on your shoulder is bigger than my Sig.
Yo Eric, the laws on the use of deadly force are already set by Supreme Court ruling. A cop, as well as a civilian, can use deadly force if he has reasonable fear of loss of life or serious bodily injury of themselves or a third person. Sounds pretty set. I'll say we should let the legal process go along. But you like having power over other agencies.
The federal investigations are often followed by agreements called consent decrees and years of court monitoring. Even cities that have not come under direct scrutiny have been encouraged to tighten rules for using Tasers and guns, to find better ways to deal with mentally ill suspects and to adopt new technology such as on-officer video cameras.
Consent degrees have a minor issue that recalls the great words of Reagan, "The closet thing to eternal life if a government program." A consent degree monitor is normally a retired senior justice official, such as a retired US Attorney or Senior Special Agent. And he reviews everything a department does and issues reports at regular intervals. He is paid by the Department of Justice but that funding comes from the local agency. And guess what, the monitor, who would loose his easy gig if he finds the department has completed reforms, never thinks he needs to go. Why? Well, if he says Bedrock's Police Department is back on track, they no longer need him. And he has to go find another easy gig.
Some police departments and political leaders have pushed back. Last month, more than 100 officers in Seattle filed a suit to block a court-ordered plan there, saying it imposed unrealistic limits that put police and the public at risk. Some experts have criticized the interventions as overly intrusive and costly.
The federal program was authorized by Congress in 1994 in the shock waves that followed the beating of Rodney King and subsequent riots in Los Angeles. While early cases were begun in cities including Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, the Justice Department under President George W. Bush put an emphasis on technical assistance to departments rather than on court-ordered changes.
But the Obama administration opened investigations, often leading to court supervision, in about 20 cities. They include New Orleans, where court oversight aims to combat a history of police violence and corruption; Portland, Ore., where the focus is on responses to mentally ill offenders; and Albuquerque, where a string of questionable shootings has caused community outrage...
...Mr. Walker said that three elements had emerged as hallmarks. Departments should have clear policies and training to minimize the use of force, he said, that include tactics for de-escalating confrontations. They should also have computerized warning systems to identify the officers who are most often involved in violence, he said, so problem behavior may be addressed quickly. And, he said, departments should have effective methods for responding to citizen complaints.
In many cases, mayors and police chiefs have said they welcome the outside help, which, among other things, can reduce lawsuits.
But in New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu sought, without success, to get out of a court settlement, saying the city could not afford the projected $55 million required to reconfigure the police and pay a monitor.
The writer here gives the impression there was never a consent degree before January 2009. Los Angles went into a consent degree since 2000. Detroit and Oakland both entered consent degrees during the Bush administration.
You can read the rest but you have remember something as you evaluate the motives of the Obama Justice Department. They deliberately sold weapons to the Mexican gangs, knowing they would be transported over the border and used in crimes. Without coordinating with or ever notifying the Mexican government. When DOJ was caught they lied and said "we're tracking them..." but the weapons didn't have a chip or other device to be traced with. And they have been covering their ass since 2009 because at least one of their weapons was used to kill a Border Patrol Agent.
So yes Eric, it's personal to me. I don't like cop killers. Especially those who hide behind their offices.