Are DOJ Probes Into Police Departments Dangerous?

Are DOJ Probes Into Police Departments Dangerous?

( – It appears that under Attorney General Merrick Garland and President Joe Biden, the administration is returning to an Obama-era tactic that sought to demonize and harass police departments across the country. It started in 2014 in Ferguson, MO, after a police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, and it barrel rolled from there.

From 2017-2020, former President Trump ended the harassment against law enforcement and rallied the public to honor police for the dangerous and thankless work they do for their communities. However, on Monday, April 26, Garland announced new Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations into the Louisville and Minneapolis police departments. The attorney general said the DOJ would assess if they engaged in “discriminatory conduct on the basis of race.”

DOJ Overreach?

On the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, Republican members are expressing deep skepticism about the new police probes. They aren’t alone. Leaders of local Fraternal Order of the Police unions say the DOJ probes and requests are examples of the Left’s relentless demonization of police.

They may have legitimate concerns. In Louisville, local authorities expect the probe will dive into more than the isolated case that tragically killed Breonna Taylor. Police unintentionally shot Taylor when they thought they were raiding her neighbor’s apartment. However, the investigation is going way beyond a drug bust that went wrong. Local authorities expect federal investigators to look into traffic stops, search warrants, and use of force.

Police authorities in Minneapolis expect much of the same. Will the Feds find police looking for bad people in known bad communities who were seeking to do bad things?

On Monday, Garland told the press if investigators find any bad actions and the police departments refuse to change, the federal government will sue them. That could be extremely costly to local governments. Worse still, Garland said more investigations were likely.

GOP Skepticism Abounds

Republican leaders expressing concern over the DOJ’s actions say the probes set a dangerous precedent. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) said the agency would likely go down the “rabbit hole” of the false systemically racist narrative. He blamed Democrats for the crisis in big liberal cities and said if the community changes the leaders, they’ll solve their problems without the federal government.

Other GOP’s committee members expressed the general sentiment that the DOJ will inject the Left’s lawlessness onto police. They called on the DOJ to allow local leaders to solve their own problems.

The danger is not so much in investigating wrongdoing, which has traditionally been the DOJ’s purview. Instead, Republicans are deeply concerned with the threat that this administration’s DOJ will set a precedent allowing the federal government to impose the Left’s agenda on local departments through its use of power. Once it starts, it would be difficult to stop. Just ask President Trump. For four years, he fought the deep state who actively undermined his conservative agenda.

Here’s the good news. In about 18 months, after the 2022 midterms, a potentially GOP-led Congress could begin putting the tools in place to hold the DOJ accountable.

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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