Posted tagged ‘Lawlessness’

On Mueller investigation, Trump should fight fire with fire

June 22, 2017

On Mueller investigation, Trump should fight fire with fire, American ThinkerKarin McQuillan, June 22, 2017

President Trump has the responsibility to re-establish the rule of law in our country, and he will have the enthusiastic backing of his base if he does so.  It is time to end Democrats’ politically motivated abuse of the law.  Stop the Mueller investigation, and go after Obama Inc.’s multiple crimes.

****************************

John Eastman, law professor at Chapman University, writes in American Greatness this week that the powers invested in Special Counsel Mueller to investigate “Russian hacking/collusion/obstruction poses grave dangers to our body politic and our liberty.”  His advice to President Trump: Fight fire with fire.  Turn the law and the courts back on your opponents. Trump is being investigated without any probable cause of a crime.  The Obama administration, in contrast, is a target-rich arena of criminal activity.

It is unconstitutional to issue a search warrant when there has been no crime and there is no probable cause.  But that is exactly what President Trump’s DOJ has inflicted on the president and his team with Mueller’s special investigation.  It was not just cowardice, but folly for the DOJ to buckle to the left-wing media’s hysterical insistence to investigate our president’s alleged collusion with the FSB.  

According to Professor Eastman:

The special counsel will not to track down the details of a crime known to have been committed and determine “who dunnit,” but will scour the personal and business affairs of a select group of people – the President of the United States, members of his family, his business associates, and members of his presidential campaign and transition teams – to see if any crime can be found (or worse, manufactured by luring someone into making a conflicting statement at some point). This is not a proper use of prosecutorial power, but a “witch hunt,” as President Trump himself correctly observed. Or, to put it more in terms of legalese, this special prosecutor has effectively been given a “writ of assistance” and the power to exercise a “general warrant” against this select group of people, including the President of the United States, recently elected by a fairly wide margin of the electoral vote.

That is the very kind of thing our Fourth Amendment was adopted to prevent. Indeed, the issuance of general warrants and writs of assistance is quite arguably the spark that ignited America’s war for independence.

 Professor Eastman suggests fighting fire with fire, prosecution with prosecution.

Unfortunately, the only antidote may be to fight fire with fire. President Trump: Perhaps it is time to make good on that old pledge to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the Clinton “matters” after all. And while you’re add it, add in referrals to the grand jury for the contempt of Congress committed by the IRS’s Lois Lerner and former Attorney General Eric Holder, an FBI investigation of the destruction of government documents and servers in the midst of the IRS scandal, an investigation into alleged perjury committed by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in testimony about those matters given under oath to Congress, an “obstruction of justice” investigation against former Attorney General Eric Holder and others (and related perjury charges against Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez) for allegedly ordering that an egregious voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party be dropped shortly before a default judgment was about to be entered in the government’s favor, etc., etc., etc.

President Obama and his leftist minions spat on our constitution  and flouted the rule of law for eight long years.  Google “Obama flouts constitution,” or see here and here and here and here and here.  Their abuse of power was ignored by the media and our partisan courts, but it has not been forgotten by conservatives.

President Trump’s voters would like to see equality before the law upheld once again in America.  It is bad for our country that rich and powerful Democrat politicians and bureaucrats harm our national security and ruin other people’s lives, in flagrant violation of the law, and are never held to account for their crimes.

Professor Eastman’s advice to fight fire with fire stops short.  Based on his own analysis, it is unconstitutional to do warrantless searches with no probable cause.  Ending the baseless “Russian collusion” witch hunt is fundamental to upholding our constitution.

Those who counseled President Trump to not prosecute Hillary Clinton said a Clinton investigation would distract the White House from furthering Trump’s positive agenda.  That was a strong argument – then.  But as Professor Eastman points out, it backfired.  Perhaps Trump’s civility was taken as a sign of weakness.  Hillary launched the lie that the Russians made her lose the election.  Democrats instigated this phony Russian collusion investigation of Trump, precisely in an effort to distract the White House and halt the Trump agenda.  The best defense is to return to offense.

President Trump has the responsibility to re-establish the rule of law in our country, and he will have the enthusiastic backing of his base if he does so.  It is time to end Democrats’ politically motivated abuse of the law.  Stop the Mueller investigation, and go after Obama Inc.’s multiple crimes.

H/T: Powerlineblog.com

 

Tom Fitton discussing Comey Lawlessness, Smoking Gun Clinton Email, & New JW Lawsuits

June 9, 2017

Tom Fitton discussing Comey Lawlessness, Smoking Gun Clinton Email, & New JW Lawsuits, Judicial Watch via YouTube, June 9, 2017

 

Alien Invasion: Thousands of Foreigners Registered To Vote (and Voting) in Virginia

May 30, 2017

Alien Invasion: Thousands of Foreigners Registered To Vote (and Voting) in Virginia, PJ Media, J. Christian Adams, May 30, 2017

In the age of Obama, politics prevented voter fraud prosecutions. Obama’s Justice Department didn’t prosecute alien registration and voting because their governing philosophy opposed it. The Justice Department ignored the information gift-wrapped by local election officials.

*****************************************

Some inside the Beltway are in a froth about foreign influence in our elections.

Yet I’ll wager they won’t say a word about real foreign influence in elections — even when actual evidence exists.

A new report released today documents that in Virginia alone, 5,556 voter registrations were cancelled because of citizenship defects. Many of those cancelled had gotten on the voter rolls despite saying on their voter registration form that they were an alien and not eligible to vote.

Voter history records also show that many thousands of ballots were cast by registrants removed for citizenship defects.

Only Americans should be electing American leaders, but that isn’t happening.

Even worse, the report documents the extensive efforts by state and local election officials to conceal the extent of noncitizen registration and voting.

These efforts include internal emails which revealed an intent to alter public records to hide the full extent of noncitizen cancellations.

The report, entitled Alien Invasion II: The Sequel to the Discovery and Cover Up of Non-Citizen Registration and Voting in Virginia, notes that the 5,556 removed for citizenship defects in Virginia are only the tip of the iceberg. These 5,556 were only caught by accident after each told a state agency of his or her alien status after previously registering to vote. Had they never provided an inconsistent answer to citizenship status, they never would have been detected.

The report released by the Public Interest Legal Foundation, of which I am president, can be accessed here.

PILF originally asked in 2016 for election records demonstrating registrants removed from the voter rolls for citizenship defects. Under federal law, all list maintenance records are subject to public inspection. You would have thought election officials would be transparent and keen to comply with federal disclosure laws.

You would be wrong: it took three separate federal lawsuits — against Alexandria City, Manassas City, and Chesterfield County — filed by PILF to finally obtain the information.

Along the way, other election officials in internal email discussions obtained by PILF contemplated altering list maintenance records to conceal the extent of cancellations for citizenship status.

For example, Arlington County General Registrar Linda Lindberg, in an email obtained by PILF, contemplated providing an altered and shorter list of registrants removed for citizenship problems. Her email stated:

This group [PILF] has and will interpret the fact that there may be voting credit on the cancelled record as “illegal aliens” registering and voting, despite the voter having subsequently affirmed his citizenship. …  I am going to delete or otherwise notate these names from my report, either by deleting the rows from the Excel version or marking them on the report.

Lindberg specifically contemplated hiding the full report of non-citizen cancellations from PILF and then producing an abbreviated list that excluded anyone on the list who subsequently cast a ballot regardless of the timing of any naturalization process.

Arlington registrar Linda Lindberg

Federal law requires list maintenance records to be public, and does not entertain alteration of those records prior to release or the production of derivative records that conceal original removal data.

Some officials claim that the list of those cancelled for non-citizenship eventually affirmed citizenship or may have been citizens in the first place. Even that excuse — that the government was cancelling valid voters for citizenship defects — illustrates the mess that American voter rolls are in regarding aliens.

Without robust citizenship verification procedures at the front end, downstream failures occur in election administration. States like Virginia, which utilize no means to verify citizenship at registration, find themselves cancelling valid registrations occasionally if Lindberg’s story is to be believed.

Neither cancelling valid citizens nor registering aliens is good government.

Yet the PILF report demonstrates that hundreds of foreigners ended up on Virginia voter rolls even after telling Virginia election officials they were aliens on their voter registration form.

Consider Jiling Xiao. Xiao registered to vote during Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign for president. Indeed, the report notes that 2008 was the year with the highest rate of alien voting in Virginia. Xiao plainly marked “NO” to the question “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?”, yet was registered to vote. Such is the flimsy check used to prevent alien voting:

Jiling Xiao registration form obtained by PILF

Or take Yun Ok Bae. Bae plainly answered “NO” to the citizenship checkbox question on the federal form, but was still registered to vote — and remained on the rolls for four years:

Yun Bae registration form obtained by PILF

Juan Mones Cazon was registered to vote in Charlottesville despite marking “NO” to the citizenship question. Cazon also marked his form that he wished to serve as an election official.

Juan Mones Cazon registration form obtained by PILF

PILF obtained 700 pages of similar examples.

All can be accessed by law enforcement personnel at this link. 

As day follows night, the people most obsessed with Russian influence in American elections will excuse away the behavior uncovered in the PILF report. Here are some voter fraud axioms:

— The more in a froth you are about Russia and Trump, the less you care about alien registration and voting.

— The more you believe foreigners in Russia handed Trump the White House, the less you worry about foreigners like Xio, Bae, Cazon, and thousands of others participating in our election system.

Yet the law takes a different approach. (Remember that quaint institution — the law?) The PILF report documents election felonies piled on top of felonies.

Federal law 52 U.S.C. Section 20511 makes it a felony to submit a false voter registration form. Federal law 18 U.S.C. Section 1015 makes it a crime to make a false statement to register to vote. Federal law 18 U.S.C. Section 611 makes it illegal for foreigners to cast a ballot. Virginia law also criminalizes the casting of an illegal ballot.

So you may think there should have been hundreds, or even thousands, of voter fraud prosecutions in Virginia in the last few years. Again, you’d be wrong.

And it’s not for a lack of information. Federal and state prosecutors were made aware of the problem of alien registration and voting by the Fairfax County electoral board years ago. Hans von Spakovsky, who served on that board, told me the information “disappeared into the equivalent of a cosmic black hole.” Not a single alien voter fraudster was prosecuted — even those who cast ballots.

Voter fraud deniers use this absence of prosecutions to argue that voter fraud doesn’t exist. The referrals by Fairfax election officials provide an excellent example of how the lack of prosecution is meaningless data for determining the extend of voter fraud.

The PILF report documents over 7,000 ballots were cast by those cancelled for citizenship defects.

In the age of Obama, politics prevented voter fraud prosecutions. Obama’s Justice Department didn’t prosecute alien registration and voting because their governing philosophy opposed it. The Justice Department ignored the information gift-wrapped by local election officials.

For good measure, Democrats in Virginia launched a successful campaign against von Spakovsky to get him removed from the Fairfax County electoral board. There was no question that the data the board provided was valid. The real issue is that the question was even raised.

If you ask questions and collect empirical data about voter fraud, you must be extinguished.

It explains why Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed multiple bills that would have addressed the problems found in the PILF report, including using jury recusal forms filled out by aliens to see if the same recused juror is also registered to vote.

The PILF report catalogs the bills vetoed by McAuliffe.

Ignorance and denial is the preferred approach of voter fraud deniers, with ridicule toward those who ask the questions tossed in for good measure.

In another American age, when government records revealed that crimes were committed by the hundreds or thousands, that foreigners were registering to vote, that thousands of citizenship defects were caught on the voter rolls, everyone would have cared. Democrats would have joined Republicans in seeking solutions. But these days, our political discourse is corrupted by the same lack of intellectual honesty and factual curiosity that Solzhenitsyn described to his bunkmate: they don’t care what you have to say, they don’t care about the truth. They only care about destroying you.

Let’s see what happens. Will there be any intellectual curiosity, any effort to expound on what we now know about defects in at least one state’s election administration?

Or will we hear, yet again, the tired propaganda about “voter suppression” and the “myth of voter fraud?”

Maybe, just maybe, those tasked with enforcing the law at the United States Department of Justice and county prosecutors will ignore the nonsense and click the links — where hundreds of pages of real evidence can be found.

To Say, ‘Stop Raping Me!’ in English, Press ‘1’ Now

May 11, 2017

To Say, ‘Stop Raping Me!’ in English, Press ‘1’ Now, Front Page MagazineAnn Coulter, May 11, 2017

 

In multicultural America, sexually active college coeds are treated like naive 14-year-old girls, while naive 14-year-old girls are treated like hardened hussies — depending on who the accused rapist is. A “frat boy,” an athlete (black or white) or a white male: Always guilty, no due process allowed. Illegal aliens: She was asking for it. 

**************************

The same media that slavishly ignored the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by two illegal immigrants in Rockville, Maryland, spent last week crowing about the prosecutor’s refusal to bring charges. 

It turns out that illegal aliens gang-raping a 14-year-old girl in a bathroom stall is not a statutory rape because … the girl had previously sent one of her assailants prurient text messages.

Somebody better tell the college campuses.

Columbia University’s Mattress Girl, Emma Sulkowicz, became an international cause celebre after alleging rape against a fellow student to whom she’d sent dozens of desperate and salacious messages — including, most memorably, “f–k me in the butt,” and “I wuv you so much.”

She’d also had consensual sex with him several times, only one of which she deemed “rape.”

Sulkowicz’s “f–k me in the butt” texts were no impediment to her becoming the face of silenced rape victims on campus. She was sympathetically profiled everywhere; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand invited her to Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address; and she dragged a mattress around campus with her as her senior thesis project …

“… a succinct and powerful performance piece …” — The New York Times

“… like ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ only more subtle …” — Ann Coulter

In its lavish coverage of our brave mattress-toting heroine, the Times reminded readers: “False reports of rape are rare, many experts say.” In fact, according to the FBI, there are more false rape claims than false reports of any other crime.

That’s why normal people like to look at the facts. For example, how long did it take the alleged victim to report the rape? How sophisticated is she? Is the story plausible? Did the accuser have any other motive to cry rape? And is there any record of her begging the suspect to sodomize her?Mattress Girl waited seven months to report her rape — even then, only to college administrators, not the police. In the intervening months, she strenuously, albeit unsuccessfully, pursued a relationship with her alleged rapist.

Rolling Stone’s “Jackie” never reported her apocryphal rape, explaining to The Washington Post that after allegedly being violently gang-raped, she was “unaware of the resources available to her.” (Heard of 911?)

By contrast, the 14-year-old girl in Maryland emerged from the bathroom stall and immediately reported her rape to the police.

According to the police report, she had run into her friend, 17-year-old Jose Montano, and his friend, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez-Milian, in a school hallway. (The 17- and 18-year-olds are both in the 9th grade. We really are getting the best illegal immigrants!) She knew Montano, but not Sanchez-Milian. Montano hugged her, slapped her buttocks and asked her to have sex with both men.

She says she said no — something generally missing from the corpus of cases making up the “campus rape epidemic.”

Montano and Sanchez-Milian then forced her into a boys’ bathroom, according to the report, where she grabbed the bathroom sink to stop them from dragging her into a stall, repeatedly saying “no.” In the stall, the illegals took turns holding her down, as they penetrated her orally, vaginally and anally. As she was screaming, they yelled at one another in Spanish.

Although there was no hard evidence, like the victim dragging a mattress around for a year, police investigators did find blood and semen in the bathroom stall.

If even one story on the left’s via dolorosa of campus rape had allegations like these, the accuser would be on a postage stamp, have laws named after her, and she’d be the one giving the State of the Union address. She’d be having lunch with Lena Dunham, Emma Watson would play her in the movie, and Lady Gaga would write a song about her.

Instead, because the accused rapists (“Dreamers,” as I call them) are illegal aliens, the media want to submit their names for sainthood. The prosecutor, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy, wants to know how short the 14-year-old’s skirt was.

McCarthy dropped rape charges against both suspects, reportedly on the grounds that the girl had previously sent nude photos of herself to Montano. This, the prosecutor interpreted as consent to have multi-orifice sex in a bathroom stall with him, as well as any of his friends.

Can we get the pre-consent-by-text rule written into college guidelines on sexual assault?

However risque her texts were, can’t a girl change her mind? Evidently, she thought it was rape when she emerged from the bathroom, inasmuch as she promptly notified authorities. Isn’t it possible she also thought it was rape as it was happening, an hour or so earlier?

Mattress Girl was old enough to attend college, vote and buy a mattress, but it was rude to mention her text requests for anal sex and previous romps with the alleged rapist. Only when the accused is an illegal do the victim’s X-rated texts become binding consent to all forms of sex with the illegal — plus his friends.

There’s also the fact that she’s 14 years old! Her alleged rapists are 17 and 18. Under about 700 years of Anglo-Saxon law, that’s statutory rape. (Statute of Westminster of 1275.) Apparently, diversity — in addition to being a “strength” — requires us to jettison our statutory rape laws.

This is the case the media are howling with glee about — demanding that President Trump apologize for even mentioning it.

The New York Times and Washington Post both editorialized about Trump’s “reflexive immigrant-bashing” -– after first telling their readers about the alleged rape that neither paper had bothered reporting when it happened.

CNN — which also didn’t mention the Rockville case until charges were dropped — is in a state of high dudgeon at Trump for citing the rape.

Erin Burnett announced: “Tonight, the White House not backing down, refusing to retract its comments on an alleged rape case used — that they used as an example of why the United States should crack down on illegal immigration.”

Correspondent Ryan Nobles raged that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred to what happened to the 14-year-old girl as “tragedies like this.”

“Tragedies!” This milquetoast, boring American girl got to experience diversity, up close — vaginally, anally and orally — AND THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY CALLS THAT A “TRAGEDY”?

In multicultural America, sexually active college coeds are treated like naive 14-year-old girls, while naive 14-year-old girls are treated like hardened hussies — depending on who the accused rapist is. A “frat boy,” an athlete (black or white) or a white male: Always guilty, no due process allowed. Illegal aliens: She was asking for it.

FBI Study: Police Scared, Demoralized, Less Proactive Due to Anti-Cop Activism

May 5, 2017

FBI Study: Police Scared, Demoralized, Less Proactive Due to Anti-Cop Activism, Washington Free Beacon, May 5, 2017

Dallas police chief David Brown, center, takes part in a candle light vigil at City Hall, Monday, July 11, 2016, in Dallas / AP

In surveying assailants, there were two expressed reasons for their actions: “a desire to kill law enforcement,” and the fear that the assailant was “going to lose their freedom by going back to jail or prison.”

Police are increasingly “scared and demoralized,” and avoid engagement with communities where they are not trusted and defiance and hostility are the norm.

************************

Police officers are “scared and demoralized” and have reduced “proactive policing” due to intense criticism from the public and national politicians amid heightened anti-cop activism, according to a recent FBI study.

The demoralization is in part due to the spike in attacks on police last year, which is partly driven by an anti-police narrative spread by the media and not discouraged by elected officials, the agency found.

The report, titled “Assailant Study–Mindsets and Behaviors,” was first reported Thursday by the Washington Times. It was written in April, according to FBI spokesman Matthew Bertron, and examined 50 of the 53 incidents last year in which police officers were killed on duty.

The report comes at a time when the killing of police officers is conspicuous in the news. Last summer, five officers were killed in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge in the wake of the shooting death of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police. These were two of the most high-profile incidents; 135 law enforcement officers were killed in 2016, a 10 percent increase from the prior year and the highest total since 2011, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The main cause of officers’ deaths was firearms-related incidents, with 64 being shot and killed, representing a a 56 percent spike from 2015. Among those shootings, 21 deaths were due to ambush-style attacks, including the deaths in Dallas and Baton Rouge. The NLEOMF said this was the highest total in more than two decades.

The FBI report, which focused on “mindsets and behaviors,” broke down the thinking that inspired attacks on police, as well as the underlying factors that it believes drove them. In surveying assailants, there were two expressed reasons for their actions: “a desire to kill law enforcement,” and the fear that the assailant was “going to lose their freedom by going back to jail or prison.”

The former category, containing 28 percent of assailants, included those with social or political reasons for attacking officers, as well as a general hatred of police. This group included the ambushers in the Dallas and Baton Rouge killings, who, according to the report, “said they were influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement, and their belief that law enforcement was targeting black males.”

Assailants motivated by social or political reasons or hatred of the police often expressed their views on social media or told friends and family before their attack. In general, the desire to “get justice” for those they believed were unjustly killed by police was a major driving force in the decision to attack.

The study further highlighted the negative impact of highly scrutinized police incidents over the past few years.

“Specifically, the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, and the social disturbances that followed, initiated a movement that some perceived made it socially acceptable to challenge and discredit the actions of law enforcement,” the report stated.

“This attitude was fueled by the narrative of police misconduct and excessive force perpetuated through politicians and the media,” it continued. “Assailants were constantly exposed to a singular narrative by news organizations and social media of police misconduct and wrong-doing,” which elected officials did little to disrupt.

This narrative led, for example, to an officer afraid to shoot an assailant who had slammed him to the ground and was beating him. According to the report, the officer did not shoot the assailant because of not wanting his or her “family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on the national news.”

The problem is compounded by what the report called a “turnstile justice system,” with criminal justice reform bills, including decriminalization and reducing penalties for drug use, driving an increased rate of release for criminals. This factor, the report argued, leads to criminals doubting the severity of punishments for wrongdoing, especially while under the influence of drugs.

This intersection of narrative and decreased effectiveness of the justice system causes what the report called “de-policing”: police making “the conscious decision to stop engaging in proactive policing.” Police are increasingly “scared and demoralized,” and avoid engagement with communities where they are not trusted and defiance and hostility are the norm.

De-policing, the report warned, led to a state of affairs where police were “purely reactive,” unwilling to engage with distrustful communities and cowed by a critical news media.

Across the 50 assailants examined, several common features were apparent. Eighty-six percent had prior criminal histories, and 56 percent were “known to the local police or sheriff’s department.” Twenty-four percent had known gang affiliations, 44 percent had a history of domestic violence, 26 percent had active warrants, and 32 percent were on probation or parole.

Demographically, all of the assailants were male. Nearly half, 48 percent, were white, 36 percent were black, 14 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent were Alaskan native.

Moreover, 18 percent had “diagnosed mental health issues,” but “mental health concerns were anecdotally identified” in 40 percent of cases. Sixty percent had a history of drug use, with at 32 percent under the influence at the time of the incident.

L.A. Police Commission Makes Violent Protests Like UC-Berkeley More Likely

April 28, 2017

L.A. Police Commission Makes Violent Protests Like UC-Berkeley More Likely, PJ MediaJack Dunphy, April 28, 2017

(Jack Dunphy is the pseudonym of a police officer in Southern California. — DM)

University of California, Berkeley police guard the building where Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos was to speak. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Announce that the law will be enforced, then do it. Perhaps this is too much to ask these days.

**************************

Imagine you’re at work one day when your boss calls you into his office. “Uh oh,” you think, “this can’t be good.” And indeed, despite the gloss he tries to put on it, it isn’t. The company has adopted a new policy, he tells you, one that will change the way you are evaluated in the performance of your duties.

There are new criteria to be used, criteria designed not to measure how well you performed a given task, but rather to inform you that, no matter how well things may have turned out for you and your company, you should have performed it differently. What’s worse, the judgment will be made not by your peers, your superiors, or even by people in your line of work, but rather by people who have never done your job – and couldn’t if their very lives depended on it.

If you didn’t quit on the spot, you would very likely look askance at your boss and this nonsense he’s peddling. And you would return to your office in the discomfiting knowledge that the place is being run by imbeciles.

You now have a sense of what it’s like to be a police officer in Los Angeles these days.

I have often written of the politics of Los Angeles, one of the more peculiar aspects of which is that the city’s police department is overseen by five mayoral appointees to the police commission. In addition to setting policy, the commission is vested with the authority to determine the propriety of an officer’s use of deadly force.

In making these determinations, the commissioners weigh not only an officer’s decision to fire his weapon, but also the tactics he used as the incident unfolded. And, even though an honest appraisal of such an incident would presumably require a certain level of experience and expertise, not one of these commissioners has ever served so much as a single day as a police officer.

Last October, I wrote in this space on the current fashion of police “de-escalation,” i.e., the avoidance of using force in restoring order, obtaining compliance, and making arrests. Like all fashions, this one was inspired by ephemeral considerations, to wit, mostly ill-informed opinions on high-profile police use-of-force incidents recently seen in Los Angeles and across the country. The Los Angeles police commissioners, five of the most ill-informed people you’re ever likely to find in one room, recently codified this fashion in the form of a new use-of-force policy for the LAPD.

In truth, the new policy (PDF) is not at all a drastic departure from the one it replaces. The changes amount to no more than a few words, these intended to emphasize the desire for alternatives, if any are available, to the use of deadly force. So it is not the policy itself that officers find objectionable. Rather, it is the knowledge that their fate may one day rest in the hands of the people whose idealistic notions of police work cannot be squared with how police work is actually performed.

In my October piece, I linked to this Los Angeles Times article concerning the September 2015 shooting of Norma Guzman, who was killed while approaching officers with an 8-inch knife. Though LAPD Chief Charlie Beck ruled the shooting to be “in-policy,” the commission disagreed, arguing that the first officer to fire on Guzman should have “redeployed” to a safer place.

And this is where the commissioners’ lack of real-world experience becomes obvious and alarming. They disapproved of the outcome, so they propose that different actions by the officer would have resulted in a better one. But in doing so they fail to consider what might have happened had the officer done what they think he should have.

In the video accompanying the Times’s story, we can see that the passenger officer alights from the police car and apparently spots Guzman walking toward him. He draws his weapon and, we are told, orders her to stop and drop the knife. She fails to comply and is shot when she gets to within about ten feet of the officer.

The driver officer, having exited the police car and come around the rear, also fires as he sees Guzman approaching his partner. In the commissioners’ imagination, the passenger officer should have distanced himself from Guzman before firing. But consider that in doing so, he would also have distanced himself from his partner, whose view of Guzman was momentarily blocked by the police SUV.

One can easily imagine a scenario in which the passenger officer “re-deploys” only to expose his unwary partner to the danger posed by Guzman. What’s more, this scenario might easily have resulted in Guzman being between the officers, thus creating the danger of deadly cross-fire.

What’s more, had the passenger officer “re-deployed,” the commission’s euphemism for “run away,” he may have violated the LAPD policy that prohibits partners from separating. Had he done so and left his partner to face Guzman alone, the commission surely would have found fault with either officer or both if Guzman had been shot.

It’s one thing for police officers to critique the actions of their peers with the aim of improving safety, it’s quite another for five political appointees with no relevant experience taking months to evaluate decisions officers must make in an instant. No less authority than the U.S. Supreme Court has made this clear, ruling in Graham v. Connor (1989) that “the ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

In the current climate, hindsight on police matters abounds, and the acuity is most often less than 20/20, with the L.A. police commission perhaps in need of a long white cane and a seeing-eye dog. And with all this myopic second-guessing comes the apparent reluctance among some police managers to uphold the law whenever there is a risk of a violent encounter with those who are breaking it. The most notable recent example can be found on the campus of the University of California, in Berkeley, where the campus police chief so disgraced herself at the Milo Yiannopoulos event earlier this year.

Following that disgrace, I offered some advice to her and her campus overseers on how to handle a visit to the campus by Ann Coulter, who was scheduled to speak on April 27. Already the campus officials have embarrassed themselves once more, first by rescinding the invitation to Coulter, then by rescheduling her appearance to a date during the week before final examinations.

In first canceling the event, university officials said it was “not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully — or that the safety of Ms. Coulter, the event sponsors, audience and bystanders could be adequately protected.” In this they admit their own ineptitude and their unwillingness to accept the fact that in order keep these people safe they may have to use force against those who threaten them.

It’s quite simple: Announce that the law will be enforced, then do it. Perhaps this is too much to ask these days.

How Trump Can Help the Cops

April 26, 2017

How Trump Can Help the Cops, Front Page MagazineHeather Mac Donald, April 26, 2017

Reprinted from City Journal

Donald Trump vigorously defended law enforcement during his presidential campaign. He pledged to restore order to the nation’s cities—where violent crime is surging—and to reinvigorate the rule of law. His appointment of conservative Republican senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general was a strong signal that Trump’s words were more than campaign rhetoric. Now that the Trump administration and the Sessions-led Justice Department are up and running, where should they focus their efforts?

The most immediate goal of the Trump administration should be to change the elite-driven narrative about the criminal-justice system. That narrative, which holds that policing is lethally racist, has dominated public discourse since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. In response, officers are backing off of proactive policing, and violent crime is rising fast: 2015 saw the largest one-year spike in homicides nationwide in nearly 50 years. That violent-crime increase has continued unabated through 2016 and into the early months of 2017. A Trump administration official—perhaps Attorney General Sessions, or the president himself—should publicly address the question of what we expect from police officers: Do we want them to be proactive and to try to stop crime before it happens? Or do we want them to be purely reactive, responding to crime only after someone has been victimized? The administration should explain that data-driven, proactive policing made possible the country’s 20-year, 50 percent violent-crime decline that began in the mid-1990s.

In February, Sessions made a good start in turning around the false narrative about policing, addressing the National Association of Attorneys General. Sessions warned that the nation’s violent-crime decline is now at risk, while acknowledging that the crime increase is not happening in every neighborhood. Yet we are diminished as a nation, he said, when citizens “fear for their life when they leave their home.” (To be blunt, the violent-crime increase has hit almost exclusively in black neighborhoods. Nine hundred additional black males were murdered in 2015 compared with 2014, bringing total black homicide deaths that year to more than 7,000. It is a marker of the perversity of elite rhetoric about race that both Trump and Sessions have been fiercely attacked as racist for pledging to save black lives.)

Sessions noted that officers have become reluctant to get out of their cars to conduct discretionary stops and other “up-close” preventive policing. The administration should go further: it should convey the charged, hostile atmosphere in which officers in many urban areas now operate, thanks to the hatred spread by the Black Lives Matter movement. Gun murders of officers increased more than 50 percent in 2016, led by the targeted assassinations of cops.

A frontal assault on the dominant narrative about a racist criminal-justice system will require laying out the stark racial disparities in criminal offending and victimization. The public has been kept in the dark for decades about how vast those disparities are: blacks commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, for example, and die of homicide at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. Lifting that veil of ignorance is necessary to explain why officers operate more actively in minority neighborhoods—in order to save lives. The public must also understand that it is law-abiding members of high-crime communities themselves who beg the police to maintain order, and that such public-order policing was central to the now-jeopardized 20-year crime decline.

The federal government will be vigilant against abusive policing, the administration should say, but it will not deem police departments and police officers biased for proactively fighting crime.

The federal government’s practice of slapping years-long consent decrees on police departments calls out for reform. There is zero chance that civil rights attorneys in the federal government know more than police departments do about how to fight crime constitutionally and successfully. Yet the Obama administration opened 25 “pattern-or-practice” civil rights investigations, based on the false notions that police bias is widespread and that federal lawyers are qualified to recommend effective police practices. The Department of Justice is currently enforcing 14 consent decrees with local departments, which grew out of such investigations. At a minimum, the Trump administration should publish data on how much the Obama-era investigations and consent decrees have cost those departments.

At the end of March 2017, Sessions announced a review of existing and pending consent decrees. The immediate target of this review was a consent decree for the Baltimore Police Department, hastily signed in the waning days of the Obama administration and at that point still awaiting final approval from a federal judge. Sessions’s reevaluation was fully justified.  As is typical, the Obama-era DOJ report that preceded the Baltimore decree failed to put numbers behind its charge that the Baltimore PD engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unconstitutional policing. The Obama report blasts the Baltimore cops for “clearing the corners” of miscreants and loiterers, but the police engage in such corner-clearing at the behest of the community. Since the report came out in summer 2016, Baltimore neighborhoods have been overrun by drug dealers, who now believe that they can operate with impunity. Residents have begged the department to return to corner-clearing and other public-order enforcement.

The proposed Baltimore consent decree discourages all such self-initiated police activities. It requires officers to contact a supervisor before making an arrest for minor offenses like disorderly conduct. It prohibits officers from stopping and questioning trespassers and loiterers, unless the officer has received a call for service regarding those individuals. The spurious philosophy beneath these rules is that policing should focus on “serious offenses,” not “minor infractions.” But the best way to prevent serious offenses is to maintain public order in high-crime areas. Proponents argue that the deemphasis on low-level enforcement will save money; in fact, it will only lead to more high-level crime.

Violent street crime in Baltimore has remained at alarming levels in 2017; shootings were up 78 percent through February 25, compared with the same period in 2016; homicides were up 38 percent through early March. These increases come on top of the highest per-capita homicide rate in the city’s history in 2015 and close to that record rate in 2016. Complying with the consent decree will cost financially struggling Baltimore millions of dollars—money that could be better spent hiring new officers and giving them rigorous tactical training. Officers will be pulled from the streets to compile reports for the overpaid federal monitor, covering matters including—as reported in the Power Line blog—whether beat cops respect an individual’s chosen “gender identity” in addressing him (or “zim”). In March 2017, seven plainclothes Baltimore officers were indicted for extortion and fraud. The consent decree is irrelevant to this egregious failure of supervision, focusing as it does on the usual policing-is-racist narrative. Five of the seven indicted officers were black.

The Sessions Justice Department requested a 90-day pause before District Court Judge James Bredar made the Baltimore decree irrevocable. This request triggered strenuous protest, not just from activists and Democratic politicians but also, bizarrely, from Baltimore police commissioner Kevin Davis himself. Davis in essence was declaring his inability to manage his own police department without federal oversight. Judge Bredar rejected the DOJ request for a 90-day extension and approved the decree on April 7, consigning Baltimore and Maryland taxpayers to a depleted and demoralized police force and to tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars of unnecessary costs and fees.

The next target of the Sessions consent decree review is an as-yet unfinalized consent decree in Chicago. Since no agreement between the Justice Department and Chicago officials has been signed, the Justice Department should drop negotiations and pull out. The Obama-era report that triggered the pending consent decree suffers from the same flaws as the Baltimore report: it provides no quantified evidence for its claim that the Chicago Police Department engages in systemic civil rights abuses. The mayhem in Chicago in February and March 2017 alone included the slaying of a two-year-old boy and two other children in separate drive-by shootings over four days, and the spread of rape, robberies, carjackings, and kidnappings into downtown and other previously safe neighborhoods. Quelling that violence will not be made easier by diverting police resources into the care and feeding of a federal monitor.

The 2012 police consent decree in New Orleans, for example, is projected to cost $55 million over five years; the actual cost will be much higher. A recent news story trumpeted the fact that sexual-assault complaints rose 83 percent in 2015 (allegedly suggesting greater “gender” sensitivity in the New Orleans Police Department). What should be of greater concern is the fact that New Orleans is also in the midst of an ongoing violent-crime spike. Shootings and homicides more than doubled in January 2017 over January 2016, notwithstanding that 2015 and 2016 had already seen a significant rise in murder and shootings.

Sessions’s announced review of pending consent decrees brought forth the same claims of impotence on the part of Chicago officials as it did in Baltimore. The attorney general should ignore these professions of dependency on the federal government and do the right thing for the law-abiding residents of Chicago’s gang-terrorized neighborhoods by tearing up the proposed decree.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division should formulate and publish the criteria that it will use to open pattern-or-practice civil rights investigations of police departments. It should quantify the constitutional violations that it uncovers during pattern-or-practice investigations and explain how it concludes that these infractions rise to the level of a “pattern or practice” of civil rights abuses.

The federal government should analyze police actions against a benchmark of crime rates, not population data. If 55 percent of police stops in a jurisdiction have black subjects, for example, the relevant starting point for analysis is the percentage of violent crime committed by blacks, not the black percentage of the resident population.

The specious population benchmark for finding police discrimination is typical of the disparate-impact analysis that drove most criminal-justice policy under the Obama administration. Such analysis should be extirpated in its entirety. There is not a single colorblind law-enforcement practice that does not have a disparate impact on blacks and Hispanics, given their higher rates of crime. The only way to avoid a disparate impact in law enforcement is to stop enforcing the law.

Before the election, the FBI announced a worthy initiative to collect and publish data on all officer uses of force. Such reporting must be accompanied, however, by information on local crime rates, since police use of force will occur most frequently where cops encounter armed and resisting suspects.

Crime-fighting remains overwhelmingly a local matter. But federal agents—from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service—can provide vital assistance. Federal law enforcement reoriented itself toward counterterrorism and cybercrime following the 9/11 Islamist terror attacks. With violence skyrocketing in many urban areas, it is time for a rebalancing. Embattled police departments are calling for more federal agents to work on joint gun and drug task forces. Trump’s proposed budget for the Justice Department has recognized that demand by allocating an additional $175 million to address violent crime.

U.S. gun and drug prosecutions fell significantly during the Obama years, discouraged by the administration’s belief that mandatory-minimum federal sentences, especially for drug trafficking, have resulted in the “mass incarceration” of minorities. In fact, drug enforcement plays no role in disproportionate black incarceration rates. If all drug prisoners were removed from the nation’s prisons, the share of black prisoners would drop from 37.4 percent to 37.2 percent. Libertarians might welcome the five-year, 18 percent drop in federal drug prosecutions, but neighborhoods riven by drug violence do not. In Baltimore, when the local police stopped making drug arrests following the anti-cop riots of April 2015, shootings spiked. Attorney General Sessions must encourage U.S. attorneys in high-crime areas to increase their gun and drug cases, including RICO prosecutions. While modest changes in the federal sentencing guidelines for drug trafficking are acceptable, they should not be undertaken in the name of “racial justice.”

All federal law-enforcement agencies should adopt a CompStat system for information-sharing and analysis. CompStat, first developed in the New York Police Department under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, holds commanders ruthlessly accountable for measurable results. A White House allegedly informed by business acumen should welcome such a proven system for bottom-line accountability.

Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder, called on local U.S. attorneys to involve themselves in prisoner reentry and rehabilitation activities. The Trump administration should determine if that initiative is producing enough crime reduction to justify the diversion of scarce prosecutorial resources; arguably, reentry activities are most efficiently carried out by U.S. probation officers. Federal prisons, on the other hand, can serve as a model for prison work policies and prisoner education. The Bureau of Prisons should partner with private business for job-skills development, as recommended in the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015.

Sanctuary cities, counties, and states must be severely penalized. These scofflaw jurisdictions, numbering about 300, refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to deport convicted illegal-alien criminals. When ICE requests that a jail in a sanctuary jurisdiction briefly hold a criminal who has finished serving his sentence so that ICE can pick him up for deportation, the jail will deliberately release him before ICE can arrive, unless his crime was particularly heinous. Over just one week in late January 2017, ICE found 206 criminal aliens who had been released back to the streets in defiance of a detention request. Their convictions included aggravated assault with a weapon, robbery, rape, aggravated assault against a family member, domestic violence, life-threatening arson against a residence, burglaries of homes and businesses, battery, carrying a prohibited weapon, resisting an officer, driving under the influence, forgery, and indecent exposure. Pending charges against those released aliens included homicide, aggravated assault against an officer with a weapon, and indecent exposure to a minor.

Such disobedience of lawful federal requests undermines the constitutional system. It is also a betrayal of a fundamental truth that big-city police chiefs purport to believe: that all violations of public order, including so-called low-level offenses, threaten community cohesion and safety. There is no public benefit to sending an illegal-alien criminal back into the community if grounds exist for removing him. Congress should impose liability on local law-enforcement officials if someone is victimized by an illegal-alien criminal released in defiance of ICE.

Passage of the Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act of 2015, which establishes a compulsory five-year sentence for illegal reentry, would encourage U.S. attorneys to prosecute illegal aliens who have reentered the country following deportation. Trump’s proposed 2018 budget rightly funds 75 additional immigration-judge teams and 20 additional attorneys and support staff for immigration litigation in order to speed up removal proceedings.

Local police departments are shaking the cup for more federal funding, but the Trump administration should resist. Federal grants are not new money; they are merely the same taxpayers’ dollars that localities rely on, minus the huge administrative costs of being routed through Washington. Though many departments desperately need more officers and more tactical training, the better way to provide those resources is to lower federal spending mandates and the federal tax burden so that localities can pay for their own policing needs. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking the lead in demanding more federal money for social programs and summer jobs. But if government welfare programs were the solution to crime, we would have had crime-free inner cities decades ago.

Only initiatives that are truly national in scope should be federally funded. Research on what works in crime-fighting is a proper federal function, since local police departments lack the money to conduct their own studies. Topics to be explored include: the effectiveness of public-order and hot-spot policing; the relationship between criminal history and recidivism; and the success rate of electronic monitoring. The federal Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, announced in February, will explore how to improve data collection in order to fight crime more effectively; a crash course in CompStat data analysis would help detect unmet data needs.

The Obama DOJ spent a lot of time talking about police “legitimacy”; by contrast, the Trump DOJ should advocate for more hands-on, scenario-based tactical training that helps officers avoid the need to use deadly force. Officers should be taught how to cope with stress. When cops use foul language, threats, and unjustified force, they are usually overreacting to stress. The current fad for de-escalation training is appropriate, so long as the proposed principles do not jeopardize officer safety.

From dash-cam videos to body cameras on officers, technology plays an increasingly vital role in policing and in public perceptions of policing. Several areas need to be addressed. The cost of storing video from police body cameras has become a huge problem. The federal government could help determine if a federal cloud for storage or a state consortium is the best solution. Washington should encourage departments to adopt lawful surveillance technology such as aerial cameras and family genetic matching to target criminals surgically.

National legislation is needed on encryption. Law-enforcement agencies now fear “going dark” during the surveillance of criminals and terrorists, thanks to encryption. The feds could also help with technology to improve communications (interoperability) between the nation’s 18,000 police departments. Anti-cop activists and anarchists are breaking into law-enforcement communications. Police WiFi was hacked during the November 2014 anti-cop riots in Ferguson, Missouri; the previous month, a radio operator tried to interfere with police movements and air-support operations in the area. Masked Black Bloc anarchists and Black Lives Matter activists will join forces in the Trump era to attack law and order, as happened in the Berkeley, California, riot in early February 2017. Federal and local law enforcement need to up their game in countering such lawlessness; the wearing of masks to facilitate crime must be severely penalized.

The Obama Justice Department ordered more than 28,000 federal law-enforcement officers and prosecutors into “implicit-bias” training—a form of sensitivity reeducation aimed at teaching police how to combat their own (alleged) subliminal prejudices. Attorney General Sessions should cancel this initiative and lift the pressure on local police departments to put their own officers through this wasteful exercise. The claim that policing, especially police shootings, is riven with “implicit bias” is untrue—in 2016 alone, four academic studies showed that if there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. The Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS) has partnered with the Office of Violence Against Women to combat “gender bias.” This is another waste of money and should be ended. There is no significant gender bias in American society, and it is not a criminal-justice issue.

The previous Justice Department’s concern with phantom police bias extended to personnel practices. An October 2016 report called for law-enforcement agencies to boost their minority hiring. The report recommended that departments weaken or eliminate their requirements of a clean criminal record in order to make more minorities eligible. This report and the message behind it should be withdrawn. There is no evidence that minority officers are “fairer” in their policing. The Justice Department itself found in 2015 that black and Hispanic officers in Philadelphia were more likely than white officers to shoot an unarmed black suspect based on the misperception that he was armed. Lowering hiring standards, particularly criminal-background standards, is a sure recipe for corruption and incompetence on a police force.

Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended that police departments mandatorily report to the DOJ their race and gender composition. This recommendation should be axed. And any mandated reporting on police activity that includes the race of suspects stopped or arrested should be accompanied by data on racial crime rates in the police agency’s juridiction. Ideally, the word “diversity” would be excised from all federal communications when it refers to race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Those traits have no bearing on federal programs or on qualifications for federal employment.

Trump is under pressure from conservatives to fire FBI director James Comey for his actions regarding presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server, his refusal to corroborate Trump’s wiretap allegations against Obama, and the FBI’s investigation of ties between Trump associates and Russia. Trump should resist the pressure to fire him. Comey was virtually the only voice in the Obama administration to call attention to the urban crime increase. He also correctly identified its cause because he understands the power of policing. He will be a valuable asset in quelling the crime spike.

Finally, while police officers have an indefeasible obligation to treat everyone they meet with courtesy and respect and within the confines of the law, community members have a reciprocal obligation to obey police commands and not resist arrest. The Trump administration could start a national campaign: “Comply now, complain later.” Such a campaign would publicize the fact that the vast majority of questionable police shootings over the last several years, as well as the justified police shootings, were triggered by the noncompliance of the victims.