“President” Biden do this for George Floyd-Pledge Federal Prosecutions of Killer Cops

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Tune In The Hutchinson Report Townhall of the Air Saturday May 30, 9:00 AM PST Noon EST on Townhall Discussion on “Call on “President” Biden to Pledge Federal Prosecutions of Police Violence” Pacifica Radio 90.7FM streamed at kpfk.org Facebook Livestreamed at thehutchinsonreport

The instant the video of a Minneapolis cop knee choking to death George Floyd, there were two calls. One was for the firing of the killer cop and the other officers who stood by and did nothing during the assault on Floyd. This call was swiftly answered with the firing of the four cops.

The other call was for their prosecution. This is the far tougher one to get answered. The call for prosecution of killer cops has been layered with frustration, anger and near futility. It’s a call that first falls in the laps of local DAs and prosecutors. In almost every case it quickly falls out of their laps. They refuse to prosecute.

This tosses the ball to the Feds. This may be the case with the Floyd slaying too. The FBI and Justice Department officials quickly announced they are investigating the killing.

However, as with local prosecution of cop killings, the federal call almost always dies an equally swift death. This is where Democratic presidential Joe Biden comes in. He did condemn the police related murder of Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery. He has spoken out on police abuse. He has made criminal justice reform a crucial part of his “Lift Every Voice” multi issue presidential campaign Black Agenda. He has done copious mea culpas for his cheerlead of the 1994 Clinton Crime Bill.

Biden knows that he got back in the presidential hunt with the near solid support of Black voters in the key primaries. He need an impassioned and exuberant crusade like turnout of Black voters to ensure a White House win. The one issue above all others that has inflamed, infuriated, aroused, and propelled thousands of Blacks into the streets is the issue of police killings of unarmed Blacks and the dogged refusal of local DAs to prosecute killer cops.

So, Joe has can finish this off by publicly pledging once in the White House he will put the full force of the Justice Department and the FBI into the prosecution of cops who wantonly kill when local prosecutors refuse to prosecute. The Floyd killing showed the urgency of this.

The standard operating procedure to federal prosecutions in police killings has been this. Time passes, emotions cool, and the public and the media move on. And in a few weeks, or more likely a few months’ time, the Justice Department quietly announces that it will take no further action in the case.

The Justice Department time and again has made it clear that it is only a “backstop” to local prosecutors. This means that it rigidly adheres to the legal doctrine of separation of federal and state powers. The feds scrupulously defer to local authorities to bring charges. If state or county prosecutors won’t bring charges or bungle the prosecution when they do, the Justice Department does not regard it as its responsibility to override the decision of local authorities not to retry or second guess a defendant’s acquittal. So, again, the clock keeps running on if, when, or whether local prosecutors will act.

The Justice Department also is reluctant to step on the toes of local police officials. When the Justice Department on rare occasions slaps a consent decree on a city’s police department after an extensive investigation finds widespread police abuse and misconduct there, it walks a careful line. Federal officials make it clear that the federal government will not purport to substitute the judgment of its monitors for that of local police administrators.

The see-no-evil policy of the feds toward police violence is even more problematic given that the number of police abuse complaints nationally remains high. The Department gets thousands of complaints yearly. A number of FBI agents and attorneys in the Department’s Civil Rights Division have sole responsibility to investigate and prosecute civil rights cases, and this includes police abuse. The overwhelming majority of the civil rights cases the Department investigates are police abuse cases. In response to widespread protests over the lack of federal action on police abuse cases, the Violent Crime and Control Act of 1994 authorized the Justice Department to collect data on the frequency and types of police abuse complaints.

Crunching the numbers on police abuse helps the feds get a handle on how widespread police misconduct is. But it doesn’t help much when it comes to actual prosecutions of police offenders.

A prosecution in a police shooting case, even a failed prosecution, sends a powerful message to law enforcement agencies that the federal government will go after lawbreakers no matter whether they wear a mask or a badge. A federal prosecution puts police and city officials on notice that they must take stronger action to rein in the use of excessive force in their departments.

Joe, there is a precedent for presidents directing their Justice Department to prosecute racially motivated violence committed by cops. Lyndon Johnson ordered vigorous federal prosecutions of police, Klan, and racist killers of Blacks. Gregory Floyd is the name on everyone’s lips who believe that when cops kill, they must face their day in court. Joe, since that day almost never comes for them in a local court, as president you can change that. Publicly pledge to prosecute cops who blatantly kill when the locals won’t.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of Why Black Lives Still Matter (Middle Passage Press) He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network

1 thought on ““President” Biden do this for George Floyd-Pledge Federal Prosecutions of Killer Cops”

  1. I hope this could help and please share it as you see fit, Thank you kindly, Billy Mac

    George Floyd’s murder and the following protesting, looting and rioting: 6-02-2020: 5am:

    This, is another horrific incident that has country-wide adverse ramifications, and causes me to wonder if there are actual limits as to how far humans will go to mistreat other humans.
    We have been watching the news quite intensely for 3 days and are truly aghast at what we see being reported. The looting and the vandalism almost makes me give up hope.

    We hear mayors and police chiefs, Fire chiefs, and reporters and various prominent people (senators, doctors, psychologists, etc,) being interviewed and some good things have indeed been mentioned, BUT… no one yet has mentioned the simplicity of living by the Golden rule which would fix everything, if, humans could bring themselves to wantonly live by it. No one seems to want to publicly say out loud; “gee, why don’t we try that!” This one singular precept would create all the harmony that humans ever wanted – if we truly lived it.
    I stay on the sidelines, and I have no intent on getting involved in any way. I have deeply understood the value of humans living by this principle for 30 some years now, and to me this is a moment where it is time for others to learn it, grasp it, and live it.

    IF – The police chiefs (or some one) in their news interviews could just get people to understand that if humans would live by this singular precept, that humans would eventually not need police forces. We humans, as a whole, don’t seem to be capable of realizing how much money would be available for societies to spend on other purposes for our general well-being if we weren’t spending it on taxes for police salaries and pensions and all the equipment that police departments need to function. But no, no, no, It seems that we would rather, and even prefer, to mistreat others – until the end of forever.
    I won’t say that Nobody really lives by the Golden rule. But lets be honest! Corporations rarely do it – as their only concern is profits; many, many governments don’t do it, and police forces very often fail to do it, and of course tremendous amounts of people as individuals don’t do it.

    But I ask again, what if this principle was the preamble to every constitution in the world? What if it were the part every ‘enabling clause’ of laws that are enacted? What if it was printed at the VERY beginning of every contract – and maybe in bold and highlighted letters?
    What if it were printed on the doors of all Police cars, and printed at the entry of every business, and perhaps printed on the cover page of law suits in court proceedings? In fact, prominently print it on the entry of every Court house building. What if we printed on all city buses and bus stops?
    (Please, use your imaginations, and come up with and add your own ideas.)

    This principle is everyone’s internal litmus test, as to what kind of a person they truly are. There is no escaping it. It is the ultimate and premiere internal guidance system that there is.
    This Principle, is how you make people great again, and only then, will you make societies great again; which in turn – finally make a country great again. It is the ultimate self-guiding and self-policing, and self-governing mechanism that there is. It would show us how serious we are about upgrading ourselves and evolving. Governments do not create great people. It is great People that create great governments. Governments have very often throughout human history, destroyed great people.

    How many people NEVER stop and ask them selves: Why hasn’t humanity yet reached this point in our evolution of living pursuant to this easily understood principle? I ask: How long do we want to exist with MISERY AND MISTREATMENT as two of our main Human characteristics?

    If humans want real and lasting reform in the world, then this is the singular concept that humans as a whole, must be willing to exist by. Anything and everything short of that, will continue to cause an endless string of injustices for as long as humans are alive.

    Thank you and be well:

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