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Outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has made a name for himself as a civil rights crusader when it comes to protecting citizens from the people sworn to protect and serve the citizenry. Yeah, not so much. In fact, the New York Times (of all people) reveal that Holder’s Derpartment of Justice [sic] has argued for cops caught speaking loudly and wielding a big stick in front of the Supreme Court (no less). Check this out . . .

Teresa Sheehan was alone in her apartment at a mental health center, clutching what her lawyers said was a small bread knife and demanding to be left alone. San Francisco police officers, responding to a call from a social worker, forced open the door, blinded her with pepper spray and shot her.

It was the kind of violent police confrontation that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has frequently criticized in Cleveland, Albuquerque, Ferguson, Mo., and beyond. But last month, when Ms. Sheehan’s civil rights lawsuit reached the Supreme Court, the Justice Department backed the police, saying that a lower court should have given more weight to the risks that the officers faced.

At the Supreme Court, where the limits of police power are established, Mr. Holder’s Justice Department has supported police officers every time an excessive-force case has made its way to arguments. Even as it has opened more than 20 civil rights investigations into local law enforcement practices, the Justice Department has staked out positions that make it harder for people to sue the police and that give officers more discretion about when to fire their guns.

Two-faced much? I’m sorry. The Department of Justice, Holder supporters and the Times call it “striking a balance” between police use of force force and “real-time judgments to protect public safety.”

Which sounds great in theory. In practice, Holder’s DOJ is the public face of the people’s champion and the private face of the police state. Or am I being too harsh?

Private civil rights lawyers . . . have been frustrated that the Justice Department’s aggressive stance in civil rights reports does not extend to its positions before the Supreme Court. “A report can have an impact on a department for a time,” said Gary Smith, the lawyer for the driver in the Arkansas case. “But case law touches every officer in every department in the country.”

If you think the DOJ is concerned about limiting police brutality, you’re right. If you think the DOJ is concerned with protecting its own, no matter what, you’re right. If you think the DOJ can’t “strike a balance” between these too, you’re right. Right? [h/t mister3d]

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  1. The Department of Justice, Holder supporters and the Times call it “striking a balance” between police use of force force and “real-time judgments to protect public safety.”

    I would have hoped for the opposite. To wit, backing the officer – on – the – street, at least until all of the evidence is in; but using SCOTUS appearances as the time and place to call for better training, better policies, and of course mea culpas.

    I also would have hoped for jetpacks, flying cars and zero-calorie food by now, while I’m wishing for things.

  2. Looks like a perfect strategy.

    SCOTUS is the place to pursue legalization of the police-state. The law-is-the-law and the police have wide latitude to do whatever they judge in the moment to be in the interest of public safety.

    The DoJ is the place to pursue a political agenda. Whatever the political agenda might be in any administration, the DoJ can investigate or look-away according to the political agenda. In the Brown/Wilson case they couldn’t make a case against Wilson shooting Brown; perhaps they had no desire to make a case against an officer shooting a civilian. Even so, it was a pretext to go on a fishing expedition for whatever else they might find that would embarrass the municipality in furtherance of its political agenda. And, you are bound to find a couple if fish if you cast your net wide and deep.

    • Its because they are trying to take national control of local police forces. They use these incidents to put them under their direct control, not to actually stop the incidents. Of course they would argue against limits on police because they want to put them into their little local toolboxes.

  3. I try very hard not to be cynical in terms of political views. It is one thing to look at an opposing view and declare it wrong.

    It is another to declare that the idea is wrong and the person espousing it KNOWS that it is wrong and that they’re continuing on because they are morally flawed.

    I agree with Penn Jillette when he describes that level of cynicism as hateful. When a person doesn’t think you’re simply wrong, but essentially evil, how can there be any progress or even dialog?

    That all goes out the window when I think of Eric Holder, I think he (and to a lesser extent Obama) have a very Jacksonian view on the executive branch.

    “I’m elected, and I’m going to run the show as I see fit. Those in the office before or after be damned.”

    That is the prerogative of the elected official, but you can’t stand amazed when the opposition rises up against you and is anything but diplomatic in their treatment of you and your office.

  4. Can make a very good case, that in the last 6 years, the Dept of “Justice” has become the biggest joke in the fed gov’t. Has passed up several former contenders for the title.

    I don’t want ANY stinkin “civil rights advocates”/community organizers/Marxist progressives in the US gov’t. We need strict Constitutional constructionists and free market capitalists. The Obumer/Holder crew of demtard misfits advocates/organizers and the entire UN and go fix Cuber, Venezuela and North Korea. Please. Soon.

  5. Holder & civil rights advocate in a singular sentence? I nearly fell out of my chair laughing…

    As for the DoJ stance on the issue, color me surprised. No really, I’m serious. Serious I tell you! /sarc off

  6. If it walks like a police-statist, talks like one, acts like one and quacks like one, it most likely is one. Welcome to the USKGB!

  7. striking a balance between his goal of a national police state and the level of completion of that goal that has been allowed by vigilant citizens.

  8. Holder was a punk in college and led an armed takeover of the vacated ROTC building which got turned into the Malcom-X Center.

  9. Just saying, this woman could have been a threat to their lives…
    In this example near my hometown: …an emotionally disturbed woman holed up in her apartment did kill a police officer with a knife. The officer lost his life to an emotionally disturbed woman whom he thought that he had good rapport with. Only after he was stabbed did the officers shoot and kill her.


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