Feds Blast Baltimore Cops
The Justice Department [yesterday] issued a scathing report against the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). The report was initiated after last year's riots following the death of Freddie Gray. During a press conference [Wednesday] morning, Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, said, "We conclude that there is reasonable cause to believe that BPD engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination law." Among the various finding in its 163 pages, the Department specifically accused the Baltimore police of "using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches and arrests of African Americans."
The Justice Department [yesterday] issued a scathing report against the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). The report was initiated after last year’s riots following the death of Freddie Gray.
During a press conference [Wednesday] morning, Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said, “We conclude that there is reasonable cause to believe that BPD engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination law.”
Among the various finding in its 163 pages, the Department specifically accused the Baltimore police of “using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches and arrests of African Americans.”
Well, let’s think about this for a moment. According to Census data, Baltimore’s population is nearly two-thirds black. Moreover, Baltimore had a major problem with crime, which was the defining issue during the mayoral campaign in 1999.
That year, Baltimore voters elected Martin O'Malley their new mayor and reelected him in 2003. (He was later elected governor and ran for president in the Democratic primary this year.)
O'Malley described Baltimore as “the most violent, the most addicted and the most abandoned city in America.” O'Malley promised to get crime under control, and he immediately instituted “zero tolerance” policing policies. It worked.
According to The Washington Post, “The overall crime rate… fell by 48 percent [from 1999 to 2009], more than any other large police agency in the country… In 1999, Baltimore had the highest violent and property crime rate among the major police agencies in the country. In 2009, the city dropped to the 13th highest.”
Then we witnessed the tragic death of Freddie Gray and the ensuing riots. The lives of six police officers were ruined by an overzealous prosecutor. Fortunately, they were exonerated.
To appease radical activists in the Black Lives Matter movement, the police pulled back from their aggressive practices in high crime neighborhoods. Guess what happened? The murder rate spiked dramatically. And in a city that is overwhelmingly black, most victims of crime are also black.
When those statistics came out, people were critical of the police for “not doing their job.” So what are the police to do? If they lower the crime rate through aggressive policing, they are accused of racism. If they back off and the crime rate goes up, they are accused of neglecting minority communities. You just can’t win if you’re wearing blue.
By the way, the Justice Department is completely run by the political left. Baltimore, from its mayor to its city council, has been in liberal hands for decades. These are the people who hire the police chief, and the police chief hires the police officers. If there is racial bias in Baltimore it has nothing to do with conservatives.
Lowering The Bar For Bigotry
The American Bar Association is once again proving how left-wing it is and just how intolerant the left is. The group has adopted a new ethics rule that is clearly intended to silence men and women of faith and others with conservative points of view on a range of issues.
According to an ABA press release, the new rule “specifically addresses harassment and discriminatory conduct by a lawyer based on race, religion, sex, disability, LGBTQ status.” Such conduct could lead to disbarment or the loss of an attorney’s license. However, “conduct” is very broadly defined.
My good friends former Attorney General Ed Meese and Kelly Shackelford of First Liberty Institute sent a blistering letter to the ABA objecting to the rule. According to Meese and Shackelford, membership in an organization or conversations at dinner parties can be evidence of discrimination and subjects of ethics complaints. Just consider this excerpt:
“The ABA’s own Business Law Section reported that the rule could easily be used to discriminate against particular viewpoints and religions. The ABA Business Law Section Ethics Committee notes that the rule ‘go[es] well beyond most civil rights legislation’ and … could ‘have a chilling effect on something that has always been in the best traditions of the bar: representing minority views and unpopular positions or clients.’
"Several other commenters, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Christian Legal Society, indicated how the rule would be used to punish their viewpoints and the viewpoints of their members, making it more difficult to obtain counsel, let alone to obtain counsel who will vigorously advocate on their behalf.”
But then again, that’s exactly the point. The left is trying to silence anyone who disagrees with it. In the name of fighting discrimination, the ABA’s new rule will only lead to more left-wing intolerance and bigotry.
One Proud Olympian
Yesterday we told you about the ungrateful hijab-wearing Muslim fencer on the U.S. Olympic team who regularly complains about intolerance in America. Here’s a positive story about one athlete who is proud to be an American.
In an interview with The Catholic Standard, swimmer Katie Ledecky said her faith was a tremendous inspiration to her. She also added that traveling throughout the world gave her a greater appreciation for America. She said:
“[Our] country has such brave, dedicated military and service personnel around the world who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our nation and other nations. These are true heroes. I have gained a great appreciation as to what a remarkable privilege it is to represent the United States in the Olympics. I appreciate the flag being on my cap as I compete. That is a real honor.”