Because unarmed black man Michael Brown was shot while attacking a police officer in Ferguson, MO members of the Congressional Black Caucus are demanding that the feds wrestle control of local law enforcement away from community police agencies. In a letter to President Obama, the black lawmakers, led by Elijah Cummings (D-MD), look to create, in essence, a national police force.
The problem, as the black leaders see it is:
In cities across America, local law enforcement units too often treat low-income neighborhoods populated by African Americans and Latinos as if they are military combat zones instead of communities where people strive to live, learn, work, play and pray in peace and harmony.
More specifically, the CBC thinks this needs even more national attention becuase:
Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teen shot multiple times and killed by a Ferguson, MO police officer, is only the latest in a long list of black men and boys who have died under eerily similar circumstances. Investigations into the Ferguson shooting are ongoing, and many of the specific facts remain unclear for now.
Despite the admission that the facts are not in, the CBC wants to go off half-cocked:
From policing to adjudication and incarceration, it is time for the country to counter the effects of systemic racial bias, which impairs the perceptions, judgment, and behavior of too many of our law enforcement personnel and obstructs the ability of our police departments and criminal justice institutions to protect and serve all communities in a fair and just manner.
The first step towards a federal takeover of local law enforcement is a cabinet-level leader. In that, the CBC wants Obama to create a “Police Czar” to coordinate the efforts:
The Administration must appoint a federal Czar, housed in the U.S. Department of Justice, who is specifically tasked with promoting the professionalization of local law enforcement, monitoring egregious law enforcement activities, and adjudicating suspicious actions of local law enforcement agencies that receive federal funding.
This Police Czar would create a national standard that all local police departments must follow:
The Administration must quickly establish a national commission to review existing police policies and practices and identify the best policies and practices that can prevent more Fergusons and vastly improve policing in communities across the nation.
With federal consequences for deviating from the federal standard:
Police departments should not be solely responsible for investigating themselves. DOJ must set and implement national standards of investigation that are democratic (involving independent review boards broadly representative of the community served), transparent, and enforceable.
And a heavy dose of re-education:
Law enforcement personnel in every department in the country, under guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), should be required to undergo racial bias training as a part of ongoing professional development and training.
They mean heavy:
Police departments must break through stereotypes and bias by identifying regular opportunities for constructive and quality engagement with youth living in the communities they serve.
No, they are serious about this re-education thing:
DOJ must set, implement, and monitor diversity hiring and retention guidelines for local police departments.
So there you have it: The Congressional Black Caucus wants every single local police department trained, regulated, and enforced by the federal government. I realize this is a typical liberal knee-jerk reaction to a sensationalized event, but I don’t think the CBC understands how truly terrifying a national police force is.
Take your pick: An inept police force incapable of insuring the basic safety of residents or a rights-stomping occupying army. I think with the feds in charge we’d end up with the worst aspects of both possibilities.