Good morning Baltimore. Crime is up and arrests are down. Residents are afraid to go outside following the recent surge in homicides, the worst in 15 years. But have no fear, Al Sharpton has come to the rescue to bring peace and harmony to the mean streets of a city near you.
America’s law-and-order champion has been calling for the deployment of a federal police force to take over local law enforcement in riot-troubled cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson. “We need the Justice Department to step in and take over policing in this country,” he said. He also suggested that states’ rights might have to be bypassed in order to end what he claims is rampant police abuse against blacks. I’d like to think that Sharpton and his fish-wit followers don’t really know what they’re saying, but I think they do. And I’m willing to bet that some in the Obama administration are eager to give it a try.
Imagine your local city police suddenly put under the jurisdiction of some federal law enforcement agency such as the FBI, US Marshals Service, or the National Security Agency. And while you’re at it, throw in the IRS, Bureau of Land Management, and the ATF, all with the authority to organize their own armed enforcement units. There can be little doubt that such a move would be a tempting proposition for many on the Left. Most of these agencies fall under the control of the Attorney General, appointed by President Obama.
Who could have predicted that Sharpton and his minion of civil rights activists would be the ones calling for a nationwide, top-down, get-tough-on-crime crackdown? Well actually they’re not. The reforms that they’re calling for have nothing to do with stopping crime. They want to stop the police. Think of it as an amnesty for lawbreakers program.
In Sharpton’s view, much of the crime taking place in our cities is being caused by police officers, not criminal suspects. But there’s a weird new aspect to this that goes beyond the standard accusations of racism and excessive use of force. Sharpton and others would have us believe that the mere presence of police officers in crime-ridden cities is riling up neighborhood communities and inciting otherwise peaceful law abiding citizens to commit indiscriminate and random acts of violence. The solution? Send in more police.
Essentially, Sharpton is asking for a federal law enforcement apparatus organized and appointed by the President. And I’m certain that he and his civil rights militants are fully aware that it would be an organization which cities would have no control over. It’s a twisted liberal paradox that would make a splendid backdrop for a sci-fi fantasy movie about a typical futuristic police state running amok in some dystopian society. But hey, maybe it’s worth a try. America is nothing if not innovative, even in tyranny.
Sharpton’s stern recommendation is of course the addled brainchild of a crackpot. But his underlying motives should not be so lightly dismissed. There are civil rights organizations out there who think Sharpton is on the right track. Fueled by suspicion and hostility, the undermining of local police has been part of their agenda for decades. Yet they’re ready and willing to put their faith in a federal-level policing of their troubled communities. Executive oversight of local administrations always looks good as long as it’s your guy running the show. All they need is the President’s signature and the law is theirs to do as they please.