Jeff Sessions Is Dismantling the Justice Department’s Community Policing Initiative When We Need It Most

As St. Louis and the rest of the country reacted to the acquittal of the police officer who killed Anthony Lamar Smith last Friday, the Justice Department had its focus on something else. While we expressed outrage at continued state violence and another fatal police shooting of a Black man with no accountability, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did just the opposite.

On Friday, DOJ announced the end of a community policing program as we know it. The program, which once helped St. Louis County police address racial profiling and other localities address issues like excessive use of force, is no more. Instead, DOJ will now assist local agencies in “fight[ing] violent crime,” aka, Session’s failed drug war agenda.

The Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance, or “collaborative reform” for short, was started in 2011 at the request of local law enforcement. The DOJ program provided resources to law enforcement agencies that were experiencing serious policing failures and reached out to the agency for help. These police departments were plagued by excessive force, biased policing, and failed police-community relations.

As the former head of the COPS office, Ron Davis, described, “[collaborative] reform worked because it was driven by local police, elected [and] community leaders who wanted stronger relationships [and] safer cities.” This effort was far from the “federal intrusion” that Sessions uses to describe the previous administration’s oversight of local policing. Police departments and local communities sought out and volunteered for this federal program. And they were right to do so.

The police departments benefiting from collaborative reform were often responsible for fatal police shootings that garnered national attention. We are talking about departments in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Dontre Hamilton was fatally shot by police; Saint Anthony, Minnesota, where Philando Castile met the same fate; and North Charleston, South Carolina, where Walter Scott was also fatally gunned down by a police offer.

The collaborative reform cities that were waiting on DOJ’s recommendations, like Milwaukee, have been told to stop holding their breath. The reports are not coming. A draft of the Milwaukee report shows just what is at stake with the loss of these federal resources. The report revealed that “MPD members generally do not understand their roles in community policing.” The report also found that “MPD’s traffic enforcement practices have a disparate impact on the African-American community” and the department “does not have specific guidelines for conducting use of force investigations.”

For DOJ to now deny critical policing resources to troubled agencies and communities is appalling. Police departments and local officials asked for federal help so they could attempt to “strengthen and build the mutual trust” between law enforcement and communities in the midst of tragedy, often a fatal police shooting. And for Sessions to say he now wants the program to “fight violent crime” is ridiculous. Fatal police shootings can be violent crimes; they just tend to happen without consequence as we saw most recently in St. Louis.

So what can be done with police practices and a justice system that continues to fail this country? Let’s keep organizing, advocating, and litigating, making sure our voices are heard. Let’s tell our local police departments that we will work with them to ensure constitutional policing practices; that we will hold them accountable even if this Justice Department will not.

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Back the Blue

Here's how you can back the blue! When one of them pull into your drive through you can spit, cough, pee, or put boogers in their drinks. You can rub their food on the floor. Also painting slogans of love and peace on police vehicles and buildings is a good way to express love. They hate message of peace even more than hate. Don't ever paint hate messages like "pig", "snake", "racist" etc... they love these.

Resist, but always do it in a non violent manner.

Anonymous

Spitting, coughing, urinating, or putting boogers in their drinks is a crime. Depending on your state and the person doing the act, it may be a felony.

Anonymous

trollolololol

Anonymous

One time I spoodged into a pigs coffee and he liked it so much he said "mmmm, good, keep em coming." I sure did. Hahahahahaha! I wonder if he ever had a baby from the amount of spooge flavor.

Anonymous

Just refuse them serivice. Then when your place is burned down and don't respond you can sue them and collect insurance. Get real, cops don't give a shit about citizens. It's a fukin job and they are out for themselves every time that mortgage bill comes due.

Fuck the police. They are just the poor version of rich money grubbers.

Coon

I'm a full fledge nigger. I hate the police because they keep me and my brothers from raping white women and robbing and vandalizing stores in breaking into your homes and Automobiles. If it wasn't for the police we could cause a lot more destruction than our race already does.

So proud to be a cotton picking nigga!!

Altruist

Vandalising police equipment is a felony, regardless of the words used. The other things are 1) violations of the terms of employment anywhere, and 2) also illegal under "food tampering" laws in most places. You are talking about committing crimes to spite all police officers - even if those officers might belong to one of the groups of officers dedicated to fighting police corruption (and yes, they exist, though most good officers end up stuck behind a desk or forced into early retirement).

IOW, you are advocating for criminal activity on the ACLU's page, which not only violates the spirit of the ACLU & its mission, but could also put you in danger of legal action.

Altruist

Also: the obvious juvenile trolls, racists, internet tough guys, & edgelords are really pathetic. I hope their nasty, antisocial comments get removed soon.

Anonymous

The police are not there to help you, they are there to do 3 things. Generate revenue, keep the people from ever rising up against their masters, and keeping for profit prisons full. They will rape, kill and steal with zero remorse and will get away with it because our society thinks that cops are tbe good guys.

Anonymous

Another COMMUNIST TRAITOR who sold out to Russia and thinks he'll still be around in 2020.
Trump threw our country to the dogs of Russia. He isn't going to last until 2020. There won't BE any vote for him bc he won't even be around.
My British friend said about him "If it isn't President Caligula. Come right in and pull up a whip."

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