Few Fooled By DOJ’s Political Motives

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Attorney General Eric Holder tells Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson that he needs to be sure to get some sleep and to not forget to tell his wife happy anniversary on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at Drake's Place Restaurant in Ferguson, Mo. Wednesday was the 26th wedding anniversary for Capt. Johnson. (J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

Put this in the “no kidding” category: A majority of Americans believes the supposedly-impartial U.S. Department of Justice is more preoccupied with politics than justice whenever it insinuates itself into a local matter that has made national headlines.

A Rasmussen survey released late last week found that 54 percent of Americans believe the DOJ is acting out of political motivations whenever it swoops into a town like Ferguson, Missouri to conduct a criminal investigation.

“Just 35% think the Justice Department is more concerned with making sure justice is done when it decides to investigate a local crime independent of local police,” Rasmussen observed. “But 54% think instead that the Justice Department is more concerned with politics when it makes those decisions. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.”

In addition, people seem to think (for some reason) that local cops — for better or worse — are a more appropriate resource than the feds to tackle local problems.

“[O]nly 20% of voters favor federal control over local police departments. An overwhelming majority (74%) believes police departments should continue to be controlled by local authorities,” Rasmussen found.

The Congressional Black Caucus is pressuring the Obama administration to create a new federal law enforcement position within the DOJ to monitor any local police agency that accepts federal funding. The CBC calls the prospective occupant of such a position a “Czar.”

“If someone isn’t tasked with ensuring the implementation of equitable policing in cities across the country, then no one will do the job,” the CBC wrote to President Obama.

“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.”

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.