Fresh off his department’s embarrassing admission that it couldn’t bring a civil rights case in the most notorious black-white killing in years, outgoing attorney general Eric Holder says he’s learned his lesson:
If you can’t win change the rules.
That’s just what Holder proposed in an interview with Politico published Friday discussing his final weeks in office.
Holder thinks it is too difficult to bring federal civil rights charges to prosecute (or is it persecute?) people like George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in February 2012 and who was subsequently found innocent of murder, and former Ferguson, Mo., police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Mike Brown in a street confrontation and who was not charged with any crime.
Both cases sparked national protests and calls for “justice.”
The definition of justice according to those protesters appears to be getting the result you want.
Now, the soon-to-be-former chief law enforcement officer of the United States apparently agrees.
After his own Justice Department announced Wednesday that it didn’t have enough evidence to bring a charge against Zimmerman of violating Martin’s civil rights, Holder told Politico the bar of proof is just too high.
“I think that if we adjust those standards, we can make the federal government a better backstop — make us more a part of the process in an appropriate way to reassure the American people that decisions are made by people who are really disinterested,” Holder told Politico. “I think that if we make those adjustments, we will have that capacity.”
In normal people-speak, that means if the federal government thinks an American is guilty of a “civil rights” violation, it shouldn’t have to work to hard to prove guilt.
As though he were strengthening the case, Holder proudly added that his justice department has second-guessed local police more than any other DOJ in history.
“We have done independent, thorough investigations in all of the matters that we have examined, and we have brought record numbers of cases against police departments around this country. I don’t think anybody would be able to look at this Justice Department over the last six years and say that we’ve been anything other than aggressive in trying to root out inappropriate police conduct while, at the same time, trying to establish, or reestablish, bonds of trust between communities of color and people in law enforcement,” he said.
So he brought more cases against police than any other DOJ in history — generally forcing local departments into agreeing to do whatever Washington commanded — and yet he wants to make it easier to convict ordinary citizens like Zimmerman and cops like Wilson of whatever politically motivated charges the Justice Department decides to bring?
That’s got to be a real shot in the arm for law enforcement — and the rest of us.
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