Police reform is coming, and the wheels were set in motion when AG Merrick Garland revered a Jeff Sessions DOJ order ending reviews of police departments.
AG Merrick Garland reversed a Trump administration order and reinstated the DOJ’s ability to review and investigate police departments. pic.twitter.com/9shOn9bufi
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) April 21, 2021
NBC News’s Pete Williams reported:
The Justice Department has had this power since 1994 after the widespread public protest over the televised police beating of Rodney King. Under this authority, the government can make recommendations and insist that the department make changes. If the department refuses, then the Justice Department can go to court and seek a court order requiring compliance. There have been 70 of these investigations since 1994. They have resulted in 40 agreements, either court-enforced or voluntary, with local police departments and sheriff’s offices.
Today’s announcement is a big turnaround in government policy. Under the Trump administration, under Jeff Sessions, he virtually shut the faucet off for the investigations. He thought they were bad for police departments and didn’t do any good. Just last Friday, Attorney General Garland rescinded that, opening the door to doing these again. Today, with the announcement that it will start and has started in Minneapolis, talking to community groups, talking to people, talking to police officers to begin this investigation.
Even if Republicans block the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act in the Senate, the DOJ can once again take action against corrupt police departments around the country on their own.
The message being sent is that police departments will no longer be able to operate as above the law. The Justice Department will be holding them accountable.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association