Baltimore, Black, White, And Central Power

Recently, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Justice Department will investigate the Baltimore Police Department, an investigation that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore requested. So it seems she is calling for an examination into her own failings.

Please take note that this investigation is distinguished from a separate civil rights probe which the Attorney General’s Office has already begun in relation to the death of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.

Consider the following facts with regard to Baltimore: Black people riot; in the process, they destroy black business; all of this occurs after a black guy dies in police custody at the hands of three black officers who are part of a police department that is 43% black and led by a black Chief, under a black female Mayor, with a black female State Attorney, in a city ruled by the president’s own Democratic Party for over 50 years.

And the result is: The first black female US Attorney General, who is appointed by the first black president, attributes…prejudice against black Americans.

This all coming on the heels of last week’s announcement from Obama that he’s dispatching federal civil-rights officials to retrain cops in “every city and jurisdiction around the country” to be more culturally sensitive to urban blacks. Already, Fort Worth, Texas; Gary, Indiana; Stockton, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have received grants to implement a new DOJ program titled the “National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice”

I live very near to Baltimore and understand the chaos firsthand. The fear, confusion, and anarchy that has taken place is nothing short of overwhelming. This led me to ponder the Constitution, the Law of this nation, and the rules of Federal Government agencies like the Attorney General’s office. I sought the entire document to see what type of jurisdiction the Federal Government has in local law enforcement matters.

The answer is none!

(The closest statement I can find is in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12, which involves the authority of Congress–not the President–to raise and support armies for no more than a two-year term; and this is not to be done during peacetime.)

So why is this administration so interested in what some call “federalizing local law enforcement agencies”?

Should you be alarmed?

You see, although the Constitution is the supreme law of our land and provides limits on the powers and authorities of our federal, state, and local governments, its words cannot, and will not, leap off the page and enforce themselves.

The greatest threat to the people’s liberties has always been the centralized power of civil government. It is strikingly apparent now that the agenda coming from both Democrats and Republicans in Washington, DC, represent an attempt to centralize and extend the control of the few over the many.

In an amazingly short period of time, the central government has nationalized the banks, the insurance industry, the automobile industry, and the health care industry–and now local police forces.  All this is illegal. And while this has been occurring at unprecedented speed, the president has been insisting that he is NOT doing exactly what he IS doing.

Unless the people and their state and local officials – like the Governor, local police, and judges — renounce the criminal behavior displayed by the federal executive through federal agencies and reaffirm their allegiance to their loved ones, their families, and their communities, these united States of America are in grave danger of disappearing.

 

Learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Justice Department To Investigate Baltimore Police For Civil Rights Violations

Loretta Lynch confirmed Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a review of the practices of the Baltimore Police Department in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old was killed while in police custody last month.

“[R]ather than examining whether the police department violated good policies, we will now examine whether they violated the Constitution and the community’s civil rights,” Lynch said in Washington.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has conducted dozens of these pattern or practice investigations, and we have seen from our work in jurisdictions across the country that communities that have gone through this process are experiencing improved policing practices and increased trust between the police and the community.

The recently confirmed attorney general said the investigation would begin “immediately,” Newsweek reported.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six officers involved in Gray’s transport and arrest last month. One has been charged with second degree murder, three have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and two with second-degree-assault, the Associated Press reported.

According to police, about 500 people have been arrested since April 23; and more than 100 police officers have been injured in the protests. Since rioting began, most of the protests throughout Baltimore have been peaceful.

The rioting caused the Orioles baseball team to postpone their first two games against the Chicago White Sox. Both games have been rescheduled for a single-admission doubleheader on May 28.

The third game of the series was played last Wednesday, but was closed to paying customers. Only allowed into Oriole Park at Camden Yards were media and professional scouts. The closed-door game was believed to be the first of its kind in which fans were not allowed to enter a Major League Baseball stadium in the league’s 145-year history.

h/t: Fox News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

BOMBSHELL In Baltimore: What The Obama Admin Did That May Have Lit The Fuse For The Riots

It’s been described by officials familiar with it as “the best training program the Baltimore Police Department has ever known” — a special program designed to improve relations between police and mostly minority communities. Yet, according to The Washington Times, the Obama administration cut off funding for the Diamond Standard training program despite strong evidence that it was a success.

“The Obama Justice Department turned down a request five years ago to help the Baltimore Police Department save a training program widely credited for improving the department’s relations with the city’s crime-ridden and minority neighborhoods and reducing homicides and police-involved shootings.”

The Times article quotes a principal developer and organizer of the training, police consultant Adam Walinsky, who claimed that the failure to continue the Diamond Standard program helped contribute to the deterioration in police-community relations that preceded the riots sparked by the police-custody death of Freddie Gray.

“Once they stopped training the officers — stopped their interaction with the community, that all that was left was locking people up, and that’s what led to this whole Freddie Gray thing.”

“The program made terrific efforts to show our trainees how to work with all of these really lost, mostly young men in the black community. We gave them the tools to show them how to make friends in the community — not to raise the tension but to lower it.”

Reportedly, the now-defunct training program was championed by the previous head of the Baltimore Police Department. Ironically, it was that police commissioner’s success in using the program to improve relations between his force and the city’s crime-ridden, minority neighborhoods —  the very program the feds failed to fund — that “led President Obama to appoint him to a federal commission on community policing.”

“The training program, which ran from 2008 to 2012, was a centerpiece of Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld’s tenure, during which period homicides in Baltimore reached a 20-year low, police-involved shootings declined and officers were pressed to leave their cars and walk their beats, and community relations improved.”

For its in-depth article on the demise of the Diamond Standard training in Baltimore, The Washington Times spoke with two unnamed officials reportedly involved with the program during the period it was in effect. They both lamented the loss of the training because, they said, it had such a positive effect. According to one of the Times’ anonymous sources: “’After every training session, questionnaires were collected. The department now has thousands of them that overwhelmingly confirm this was the best training program the Baltimore Police Department has ever known.’”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Watch: Man Fights For More Than $107,000 Seized By The IRS

A North Carolina business owner is fighting to recover more than $107,000 seized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS took the money in a civil forfeiture proceeding last year.

Lyndon McLellan, owner of L&M Convenience Mart in Fairmount, N.C. had $107,702.66 seized by the IRS last summer, according to The New York Times. He rejected a settlement which would have given him half of his money.

The 50-year-old business owner triggered the suspicion of the federal agency when he made several cash deposits of just under $10,000. As Vox reports, the law states that if one deposits more than $10,000 in cash, your bank must file a form with authorities noting the transaction. It is also illegal to “structure” deposits under $10,000 to avoid the IRS red flags.

The Times points out that under the civil forfeiture law, federal authorities can seize property tied to possible crimes, even if no charges are filed. No charges have been filed against McLellan, WGHP reported.

Last October, the IRS announced it would no longer fight structuring cases unless the money was involved in a separate illegal activity, with the U.S. Department of Justice following the IRS’ path in March. Still, McLellan remains without his cash.

“It was like I was just slapped in the face with something. I didn’t know what was going on,” McLellan told The Times. “You work for something for 13, 14 years, and they take it in 13, 14 minutes.”

Federal prosecutors contend they can continue to pursue the case because the seizure of assets came before the IRS announced its policy change. McLellan needs to prove all of the money came from legitimate sources.

Both the IRS and the Justice Department filed a complaint last December which would allow them to keep McLellan’s money permanently.

The Institute for Justice, a libertarian policy advocacy law firm, is representing McLellan. “This case demonstrates that the federal government’s recent reforms are riddled with loopholes and exceptions and fundamentally fail to protect Americans’ basic rights,” said Institute for Justice Attorney Robert Everett Johnson in a statement Friday. “No American should have his property taken by the government without first being convicted of a crime.”

Johnson’s organization released this video on YouTube on behalf of McLellan:

h/t: Fox News

Do you support Lyndon McLellan? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Breaking: What These 10 Republicans Just Did Gives A HUGE Boost To Obama’s Executive Amnesty

After a wait of more than five months since President Obama nominated her to replace Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch has been confirmed by the Senate as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. The vote Thursday afternoon saw more Republicans than expected giving their approval to the controversial nominee, with ten GOP senators joining all Democrats in the upper chamber to propel Lynch into the top Justice Department post.

Still, as Fox News reports: “The vote total for Lynch was the lowest for any attorney general since Michael Mukasey won confirmation with 53 votes in 2007 after Democrats decried his refusal to describe waterboarding as torture.”

In Lynch’s case, a number of Republicans had decried her endorsement of President Obama’s executive order on amnesty. Western Journalism reported on her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, in which Lynch said she had reviewed the legal rationale behind Obama’s unilateral action to bypass the Congress and change immigration rules for millions of illegals, and she found the president’s actions to be proper and justified.

Curiously, in the same hearing, Lynch told the panel that the U.S. Constitution would be her “lodestar” in making decisions if she were to become attorney general. Many conservatives have contended that Obama’s actions on immigration, as well as Lynch’s expressed support of those executive orders, are not in line with the constitutionally mandated separation of powers.

The Senate vote to confirm Loretta Lynch clears the way for her to be sworn in as the nation’s first African-American woman to head up the Department of Justice. Lynch currently serves as a federal prosecutor in New York state.

Image Credit: Wiki Commons

Image Credit: Wiki Commons

The Hill provides a list of Republican senators who voted in favor of confirmation — a list that, surprisingly, includes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had earlier indicated he was inclined to vote against Lynch.

“Ten Republican senators broke ranks and sided with Democrats to get Lynch over the 50-vote threshold: Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Susan Collins (Maine), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Mitch McConnell (Ky.).”

The Hill points out that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who had indicated he would stand against Lynch and even delivered a floor speech earlier today opposing her nomination, missed the vote. The reason, as of this writing, is unclear.

In speaking out against the confirmation prior to the vote, one passionate GOP senator called for the confirmation of a nominee who would vow to uphold the Constitution and not support Obama’s executive action that many claim violates both the letter and the spirit of the law.

“Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) added that senators should [not] confirm someone who has ‘publicly committed to denigrating Congress [and] violating the laws of Congress.’”

It has not yet been announced when Loretta Lynch will take the oath of office to replace Eric Holder.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth