Unnecessary Force – What Will Policing Look Like Under Trump?

Jeff Sessions, Attorney General for the Trump administration, has ordered a review of police reform agreements that could result in less oversight for local law enforcement agencies. This policy rollback could result in an increased incidence of police brutality.
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    MINNEAPOLIS– The effect of police brutality on black communities in the United States is well-documented. Under President Donald Trump, who marked his first day as president by vowing to end what he called a “dangerous anti-police atmosphere,” this form of abuse will likely continue with little to no consequences for those guilty of perpetrating it.

    By the end of last year, the number of people killed by police had reached a staggering 1,156. Police officers across the U.S. engaged in patterns of excessive force, including the use of deadly force, while rarely being prosecuted for their actions.

    In September, Trump called for “stop-and-frisk,” a policing practice ruled discriminatory and unconstitutional by a U.S. district court judge in 2013, to be implemented nationwide, citing Chicago violence as an example as to why the practice should be used.

    In November, Patrisse Cullors, one if the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, wrote that a Trump presidency means more police brutality against black people. According to a report from the Washington Post, “unarmed black Americans [are] five times as likely as unarmed white Americans to be shot and killed by a police officer.”

    We have already seen this violence materialize even in the earliest stages of Trump’s presidency. His first month in office was one of the deadliest in terms of the number of killings by police officers. A total of 105 people were killed by police violence, the highest number killed in one month since 2015.

    Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a sweeping review of police accountability agreements, a troubling move that’s since been heavily criticized by human rights organizations as being “a clear indication that [Sessions’] Department of Justice is moving toward abandoning its obligations to uphold federal civil rights laws through consent decrees.”

    What this review indicates is that the Department of Justice will likely put a stop to consent decrees, as well as abstain from enforcing decrees that already exist. The decrees are meant to address police brutality, but without them, the use of unnecessary force could increase.

    In a statement from the Leadership Conference, a leading human and civil rights coalition, CEO Wade Henderson argued that “consent decrees are a crucial tool in the Justice Department’s enforcement of civil rights in a variety of areas, including addressing police misconduct.”

    It is likely that Trump’s administration will continue to ease what many right-wing ideologues consider to be restrictive policies that are undermining the crime-fighting efficacy of police officers. But this doesn’t mean that their plans won’t face resistance. Despite the challenges that lay ahead, groups like Black Lives Matter and their allies have promised to fight back against the administration’s discriminatory policies.

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    • tapatio

      With Trump in office, there will be NOTHING to constrain thugs like Joe Arpaio of Arizona and all the other departments that serve only $$$.

    • Ol’ Hippy

      The violence inflicted by the civilian police forces is certainly nothing new. It’s just that now with strict authoritarian leadership the few gains of civil rights will be swept aside and usher in a new state of violent repression of the marginalized masses. It seems that every step in the positive direction a new leadership comes along and destroys all the gains of the last few decades.

    • Joel W

      The same as its looked under the past many presidents. Any police abuse CANNOT be blamed on Trump. Its been this way for a decade, if not longer.

      • AdamJ23

        Sure it can, if Trump’s justice department fails to engage in the same kind of oversight that Obama’s justice department has. Chicago has had policing issues for ages, but Obama’s Justice department had worked with it to sign a consent decree enacting needed police reforms. Now Sessions is walking away from this… that’s on Trump.

        • Joel W

          Its been a problem for decades, and it will continue to be a problem long after Trump. Its systemic. And partial blame can be put on Trump, yes, but then every other president, past and future, are to blame as well. and under Obama, there has been more police abuse than i have ever heard of in my life. But not his fault either. Its systemic. Its hiring low IQ applicants. Its hiring applicants on the borderline of the psych exam. Its police never having being convicted of murdering people without cause. Its systemic. And it cannot be solely placed on Trump or any other president. Plus the fact that the Federal government only has so much authority over local matters. Police are completely unaccountable for their crimes. They rape and murder with impunity. And its Obama who took the program to give cops military equipment and put it in hyper drive. Its systemic. And all part of the plan.

    • James Wherry

      Police are state and local matters. The President should concern himself with the FBI, U.S. Marshalls and the Border Patrol. In the event civil rights are violated by local police and the local government cannot address it, the Federal government has the authority to take action under our civil rights laws. I hope they will, since some of the police abuses caught on camera are appalling.

      “Louisiana cop cries as he’s found guilty of shooting 6-year-old autistic boy to death”
      BY Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News, March 25, 2017

      “Kendrec McDade died in a hail of US police bullets in 2012. His mother still seeks justice”
      Elizabeth Day in Pasadena, 17 October 2015

      “13 Cleveland police officers who fired 137 rounds into car, killing 2, expected in court.”
      December 3, 2012

      • Ol’ Hippy

        Expect them, (abuses) now to gather speed and result in far more beatings, killings, and riots by the repressed.