DOJ's Racial Witch Hunt Isn't Over
Justice will soon release its final investigative report on the Ferguson Police Department.
The Justice Department will soon release its final investigative report on the Ferguson Police Department, and chatter suggests the report will accuse Ferguson police of engaging in sustained discriminatory practices against the black population. Surprise! The report will allegedly also claim these practices led to years of racial animosity in the city, culminating in last summer’s shooting of Michael Brown and months of racial unrest.
According to recent data from the Missouri attorney general, blacks accounted for 86% of traffic stops in 2013, but make up 63% of the population. Black drivers were twice as likely to be searched during a stop, yet searches were more likely to turn up contraband with white drivers.
The fines collected from such traffic stops are Ferguson’s second largest source of revenue. The Justice Department report goes so far as to suggest that the city uses disproportionate traffic stops against blacks to meet municipal budget shortfalls.
The final report will likely include a list of recommended changes Ferguson will need to implement. Otherwise, the city could face a federal lawsuit to force compliance – just like the four open lawsuits against cities that have not rolled over. Most cities facing such actions comply with the Justice Department’s demands. During Eric Holder’s time as attorney general, the DOJ has gone after more than 50 police departments for some form of discrimination or another, often at the behest of the NAACP or the ACLU.
“This is about expanding federal power in the police departments,” former DOJ attorney Hans von Spakovsky told The Wall Street Journal. “The lawyers at Justice believe they are the ones who should be promulgating national standards of how cops should behave. And police departments are so afraid of bad publicity that they agree to settle the case with all kinds of rules that Justice wants to impose.”
It is within the responsibility of the Justice Department to investigate matters in which discrimination may be taking place, but, when the AG is someone who sees everything through a racial prism like Holder, the potential for trouble escalates. For example, Holder is so motivated by his own racial grievances that he resolutely refuses to address the outrageous number of murders of blacks by other blacks.
FBI statistics from 2012 show that 2,614 whites were killed by other whites that year, and 2,412 blacks were killed by other blacks. If Holder were as concerned about proportionality as he demonstrates when comparing white and blacks, then one would think he would have been troubled by these numbers. As a portion of the population, black-on-black murder remains substantially higher than white-on-white murder. And the FBI numbers for 2012 combined white and Hispanic murder rates, making the disparity even greater than at first glance.
Yet, throughout his tenure at Justice, Holder has maintained his focus on race, letting himself get mixed up with professional race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He has followed their pattern by continually blaming racism and discrimination for the plight of the black community. The actions of his Justice Department confirm Holder’s view that blacks are targeted for their skin color, not because of their behavior.
Perhaps that’s why Sharpton says, “No other U.S. attorney general has a civil rights record equal to Holder’s.”
Amy Wax, a former DOJ official teaching at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, wrote, “Contrary to frequently voiced accusations and despite a voluminous literature intent upon demonstrating discrimination at every turn, there is almost no reliable evidence of racial bias in the criminal justice system’s handling of ordinary violent and non-violent offenses. Rather, the facts overwhelmingly show that blacks go to prison more often because blacks commit more crimes.”
The Justice Department’s months of investigating did not bring up enough evidence to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson with civil rights violations in the death of Michael Brown. Similarly, they were not able to pin such charges on George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin.
In fact, for all of Holder’s posturing, all Justice has really been able to accomplish is perpetuating the same problem they claim to be addressing. The pattern of racial indignation set by Sharpton and Co. that has been picked up by Holder’s Justice Department has only served to make police less likely to engage in minority neighborhoods. This won’t make inner cities less violent, and it won’t make lives better for blacks.
Shortly after taking office, Holder accused America of being a nation of “cowards” for not engaging in a frank discussion about race. As he prepares to step down in a few weeks, Holder still has not engaged in that discussion, either. He’d rather place blame and wag his finger because that’s what makes headlines and turns out the aggrieved vote. As for the real work that it will take to reduce black-on-black crime and make minority neighborhoods safer, well, apparently that’s just not worth his time.