New U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with top Baltimore city officials, community leaders, and law enforcement officers to discuss improving the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), reported The Washington Post.
The meetings started out normal enough, Lynch gave some words of encouragement to city residents, spoke with Freddie Gray’s family, and said the Department of Justice (DOJ) will work with the BPD to find ways to improve the department. This would be uplifting if it weren’t for the DOJ’s sordid past of breaking promises and protecting violent cops.
If Lynch is anything like former AG Eric Holder, chances are that we won’t see much change from within law enforcement that will actually benefit the citizens. In fact, despite the promises made by Holder to protect the people and hold law enforcement agencies accountable for the actions of violent police officers, little has been done. Actually, the exact opposite has occurred. Holder backed violent officers to the Supreme Court instead of protecting the people.
There are approximately 20 civil rights investigations related to overzealous police officers. But procop officials at the DOJ are making it difficult to pursue any litigation against abusive officers. What’s worse, cops have been given more discretion to use their service weapons.
Several civil rights attorneys have noticed the pattern and lament the DOJ’s broken promises.
“There is an inherent conflict between people at the Justice Department trying to stop police abuses and other people at the Justice Department convincing the Supreme Court that police abuses should be excused,” said civil rights attorney Ronald Kuby.
The DOJ is not known for properly prioritizing the kind of crime that is dissolving America. Wall Street crimes and regulating law enforcement agencies have taken a backseat to fighting a fruitless drug war that is only kept alive because it drives revenue for law enforcement groups. Therein lies the problem. Since the drug war is profitable, it gets more attention. If there was money in fighting Wall Street crime and violent cops, then they would receive more focus.
Loretta Lynch’s legacy is already at stake with the events in Baltimore. It’s up to her to either uphold the proper duties of law enforcement, or be another stagnant placeholder AG.