March 06, 2015

No Surprises in Either of the DOJ Ferguson Findings.

So, who is shocked regarding the DOJ’s final release of the findings in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of a robbery suspect who assaulted a police officer in an attempt to take the officer’s gun? No one? Good. Because no one should be the least bit surprised. The findings regarding Officer Darren Wilson’s actions that day reflect logic and common sense—not to mention, evidence.

However, my sarcasm is not limited to these finding; I’m also asking: who is shocked regarding the alleged broad “racism” charges leveled against the Ferguson Police Department? If you are, you shouldn’t be. The DOJ, under President Obama and outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, has a long anti-police legacy. In other words, the DOJ hasn’t met a police department it likes. And there wasn’t any way, after Officer Wilson avoided the wrath of Holder’s DOJ, that someone, anyone, wouldn’t suffer. In fact, because the DOJ couldn’t charge Wilson, which they had virtually promised to do, it decided to go after the entire department—that’ll teach Wilson to have acted properly!

Whether or not the accusations against the Ferguson PD’s bias policing are true or not, to what ever degree, the DOJ has a storied history of jumping on some high-profile events, injecting racism where it doesn’t exist, and then, even after exonerating the officers involved in the initial controversial incidents, arriving at pre-determined conclusions. The investigated police departments are inevitably found to have, a pattern and practice of physically abusing minority citizens’ and violating their rights. Why do critics find these conclusions suspicious? Perhaps, because the DOJ refuses to release the methodology by which it arrives at its unscrupulous results.

I can speak to this because I watched as the DOJ took one of the, formerly, most emulated and praised police departments in the nation, the Seattle P. D., and eviscerated its effectiveness by alleging abuse and racism without releasing how they arrived at their dubious conclusions.

A Seattle University criminal justice professor and former DOJ statistician, Matthew J. Hickman, did a more thorough counter-study. Hickman, in the form of a special to the Seattle Times, placed, gift-wrapped with a big red bow, in the laps of Seattle’s leaders, potent evidence to counter the DOJ’s erroneous allegations. Incomprehensibly, Seattle’s leaders chose to ignore Hickman’s present, and a consent decree was entered into by the city, thus sealing the decline of the SPD for years to come.

Today, whenever we read about this DOJ consent decree in national and local media, the fact that the initial study and implementation was extremely controversial, with allegations contradicted even by those entering into it on the city’s side, reporters consistently fail to mention the initial controversy, which would put the issue into a more accurate context. The media’s anti-police bias is almost as visceral as the DOJ’s.

Evidence of this bias can be found in stories and website posts regarding Seattle’s new police chief, Kathleen O’Toole, which report about how she has walked, “into a quagmire as the police department has been investigated by the Justice Department and placed under a federal consent decree for use of excessive force and biased policing.” In this type of reporting, there are no allegations, the statements are declarative and unequivocal–and, apparently, not well researched.

Well, when federal consent decrees are instituted based on fraudulent data, of course there is going to be resistance from those who have been maligned so intensely and maliciously. Doesn’t that just make sense?


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