⌛ Case Study Of The Scott Case: Mans Best Friend
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Biden remarks on September jobs report U. Ceballos, U. City of Birmingham, F. City of Anniston, F. Henderson , Neb. See also Robin D. Some officers who have associated with militant groups or engaged in racist behavior have not been fired, however, or have had their dismissals overturned by courts or in arbitration. Such due process is required to ensure integrity and equity in the disciplinary process and protect falsely accused police officers from unjust punishments.
Progress in removing explicit racism from law enforcement has clearly been made since the civil rights era, when Ku Klux Klan—affiliated officers were far too common. But, as Georgetown University law professor Vida B. Trust in the police remains low among people of color, who are often victims of police violence and abuse and are disproportionately underserved as victims of crime. The failure of law enforcement to adequately respond to racist violence and hate crimes or properly police white supremacist riots in cities across the United States over the last several years has left many Americans concerned that bias in law enforcement is pervasive. This report examines the law enforcement response to racist behavior, white supremacy, and far-right militancy within the ranks and recommends policy solutions to inform a more effective response.
Active links between law enforcement officials and the subjects of any terrorism investigation should raise alarms within our national security establishment, but the federal government has not responded accordingly. Any law enforcement officers associating with these groups should be treated as a matter of urgent concern. Biased policing also tears at the fabric of American society by undermining public trust in equal justice and the rule of law. Though the FBI redacted significant passages of the assessment before releasing it to the public, the document does not appear to address any of the potential harms these bigoted officers pose to communities of color they police or to society at large. Rather, it identifies the main problem as a risk to the integrity of FBI investigations and the security of its agents and informants.
McGarrity indicated he had not read the assessment. See also Pickering , U. Its proposed remedy is stunningly inadequate, however. While it is important to protect the integrity of FBI terrorism investigations and the safety of law enforcement personnel, Congress has also tasked the FBI with protecting the civil rights of American communities often targeted with discriminatory stops, searches, arrests, and brutality at the hands of police officers. It is unlikely that the FBI would be similarly hesitant to act if it received information that U. Yet many of the white supremacist groups investigated by the FBI have longer and more violent histories than these other organizations.
The federal response to known connections of law enforcement officers to white supremacist and far-right militant groups has been strikingly insufficient. White supremacy was central to the founding of the United States, sanctified in law and practice. It was the driving ideology behind the European colonization of North America, the subjugation of Native Americans, and the enslavement of kidnapped Africans and their descendants. Policing in the early American colonies was often less about crime control than maintaining the racial social order, ensuring a stable labor force, and protecting the property interests of the white privileged class. Slave patrols were among the first public policing organizations formed in the American colonies. Put simply, white supremacy was the law these earliest public officials were sworn to enforce.
Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act of , which required law enforcement officials in free states to return escaped slaves to their enslavers in the South. When slavery was finally abolished in the United States after the Civil War, de jure white supremacy lived on through Black codes and Jim Crow laws. In , Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, an openly racist law halting Chinese immigration and denying naturalization to Chinese nationals already living in the United States. The Immigration Act of was also explicitly racist, codifying strict national origin quotas to limit Italian, eastern European, and nonwhite immigration. The law barred all immigration from Japan and other Asian countries not already excluded by previous legislation.
As the United States expanded westward, government agents enforced policies of violent ethnic cleansing against Native Americans and Mexican Americans. In the early 20th century, Texas Rangers led lynching parties that targeted Mexican Americans residing in Texas border towns on specious allegations of banditry. Where the laws were deemed insufficient to dissuade nonwhites and non-Protestants from exercising their civil rights, reactionary groups such as the Ku Klux Klan used terrorist violence to enforce white supremacy.
Law enforcement officials often participated in this violence directly or supported it by refusing to fulfill their duty to protect the peace and hold lawbreakers to account. By the s, the KKK alone claimed 1 million members nationwide from New England to California, and had fully infiltrated federal, state, and local governments to advance its exclusionist agenda. Into the s, there were an estimated 10, sundown towns across the United States.
In , civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner went missing in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer voter registration drive, shortly after being released from a Philadelphia, Mississippi, jail where they had been taken to pay a speeding fine. Edgar Hoover to send FBI agents to find them. Two current and two former law enforcement officials were among those charged. An all-white jury convicted seven of the Klansman but only one of the law enforcement officers. While the Mississippi Burning case was the most notorious, it was far from the last time white supremacist law enforcement officers engaged in racist violence. There is an unbroken chain of law enforcement involvement in violent, organized racist activity right up to the present.
In a deposition, the officer admitted that he directed a member Klan subgroup called the Confederate Officers Patriot Squad COPS , half of whom were police officers. Bramer, F. A pending lawsuit accuses the same two officers of beating an unarmed Black man while yelling racial epithets. These deputy gangs pose a threat to their fellow law enforcement officers as well, according to two recently filed lawsuits. In another, a deputy who witnessed the attack alleged he suffered threats and retaliation from deputy gang members after reporting it to an internal affairs tip line. Only rarely do these cases lead to criminal charges.
In , Florida state prosecutors convicted three prison guards of plotting with fellow KKK members to murder an inmate. Federal prosecutions are even rarer. In , the Justice Department charged a New Jersey police chief with a hate crime for assaulting a Black teenager during a trespassing arrest after several of his deputies recorded his numerous racist rants. This incident marked the first time in more than a decade that federal prosecutors charged a law enforcement official for an on-duty use of force as a hate crime. A jury convicted the police chief of lying to FBI agents but was unable to reach a verdict on the hate crime charge, which prosecutors vowed to retry.
More often, police officers with ties to white supremacist groups or overt racist behavior are subjected to internal disciplinary procedures rather than prosecution. Three police officers in Fruitland Park, Florida, were fired or chose to resign over a five-year period from to after their Klan membership was discovered. In , a Louisiana police officer was fired after a photograph surfaced showing him giving a Nazi salute at a Klan rally. In , a police officer in Muskegon, Michigan, was fired after prospective homebuyers reported prominently displayed Confederate flags and a framed KKK application in his home.
The investigation uncovered a third, previously unreported shooting in another jurisdiction that was not further described. Although the internal investigation documented the officer citing Black drivers at a higher rate than the demographic population in the district he patrolled, it determined that the officer was not a member of the KKK and had shown no racial bias on the job. Still, the report concluded that the community had lost faith in the officer as a result of the incident, and the police department fired him.
The officer settled a grievance he filed with the Police Officers Labor Council regarding his termination, agreeing to retire in exchange for his full pension and health insurance. In June , three Wilmington, North Carolina, police officers were fired when a routine audit of car camera recordings uncovered conversations in which the officers used racial epithets, criticized a magistrate and the police chief in frankly racist terms, and talked about shooting Black people, including a Black police officer. In July , four police officers in San Jose, California, were suspended pending investigation into their participation in a Facebook group that regularly posted racist and anti-Muslim content.
In some cases, law enforcement officials who detect white supremacist activity in their ranks take no action unless the matter becomes a public scandal. In the following years the officer was promoted to sergeant and eventually lieutenant. A second Anniston police lieutenant found to have attended the same League of the South rally was permitted to retire. The fired officer appealed his dismissal. After a three-day hearing, a local civil service board upheld his removal. The officer then filed a lawsuit alleging that his firing violated his First Amendment free speech and association rights, but a federal court affirmed the termination.
The Anniston example demonstrates the need for transparency, public accountability, and compliance with due process to successfully resolve these cases. They then responded correctly, in awareness of the public scrutiny, by dismissing the officer in a manner that provided the due process necessary to withstand judicial review. These were positive steps to begin rebuilding public trust. But as in many of these cases, during the nine years when avowed white supremacist police officers served in the Anniston Police Department including in leadership positions , there was not a full evaluation or public accounting of their activities. This decision forfeited another opportunity to restore public confidence in law enforcement.
Unfortunately, there is no central database that lists law enforcement officers fired for misconduct. As a result, some police officers dismissed for involvement in racist activity are able to secure other law enforcement jobs. In , the police chief in Colbert, Oklahoma, resigned after local media reported his decades-long involvement with neo-Nazi skinhead groups and his ownership of neo-Nazi websites. A neighboring Oklahoma police department hired him the following year, claiming he had renounced his previous racist activities and held a clean record as a police officer. In , the Greensboro, Maryland, police chief was charged with falsifying records to hire a police officer who had previously been forced to resign from the Dover, Delaware, police department after he kicked a Black man in the face and broke his jaw.
The same officer was later involved in the death of an unarmed Black teenager, which sparked an investigation that revealed 29 use of force reports at his previous job, including some that found he used unnecessary force. The previous incidents were never reported to the Maryland police certification board. Prosecutors have an important role in protecting the integrity of the criminal justice system from the potential misconduct of explicitly racist officers. The landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland requires prosecutors and the police to provide criminal defendants with all exculpatory evidence in their possession. Maryland, U.
A later decision in Giglio v. United States expanded this requirement to include the disclosure of evidence that may impeach a government witness. United States, U. Prosecutors keep a register of law enforcement officers whose previous misconduct could reasonably undermine the reliability of their testimony and therefore would need to be disclosed to defense attorneys. Georgetown Law Professor Vida B. Prosecutors, therefore, should be required to include these officers on Brady lists to ensure defendants they testify against have access to the potentially exculpating evidence of their explicitly racist behavior.
This reform would be an important measure in blunting the impact of racist police officers on the criminal justice system. In , progressive St. Louis prosecutor Kimberly Gardner placed all 22 of the St. Far more frequently, law enforcement officers express bias in ways that are more difficult for police administrators to navigate. The East Hampton, Connecticut, police department came to a different conclusion about such an affiliation in , however, and determined that an officer who joined the Proud Boys and paid membership fees did not violate department policies and would face no discipline.
The officer claimed to have left the group. Other law enforcement officials do not associate with white supremacist groups, but engage in overtly racist activities in public, on social media, or over law enforcement—only communication channels and internet chat rooms. In a report, the Plain View Project documented 5, patently bigoted social media posts by 3, accounts identified as belonging to current and former law enforcement officials. The report sparked dozens of investigations across the country. The Philadelphia Police Department, for example, placed 72 officers on administrative duties pending an investigation into their racist social media activity, ultimately suspending 15 with intent to dismiss.
Other officers will face disciplinary action, including suspensions, but will remain on the force. Thirteen of 25 Dallas police officers investigated for objectionable social media postings received disciplinary actions ranging from counseling to suspensions without pay. Only 2 of the 22 current St. Louis police officers identified in the report were terminated. The St. Louis prosecutor placed all 22 of them on a list of police officers that her office would not call as witnesses, however. The San Francisco Police Department attempted to fire nine officers whose overtly racist, homophobic, and misogynistic text messages were uncovered in a FBI police corruption investigation.
As the case was pending, five other San Francisco police officers were found to have engaged in racist and homophobic texting, at times mocking the investigation of the earlier texts. It is perhaps unsurprising then that in the Justice Department determined that San Francisco police officers stopped, searched, and arrested Black and Hispanic people at greater rates than white people even though they were less likely to be found carrying contraband. In a positive development, when the texting scandal broke in , the San Francisco district attorney established a task force to review 3, criminal prosecutions that used testimony by the offending officers, dismissing some cases and alerting defense attorneys to potential problems in others.
Police Texting, D. In , an internal U. It is unclear whether disciplinary measures have been taken against these agents. The Border Patrol has tacitly supported vigilante activities by border militia groups on the Southwest border that have demonstrated a propensity for illegal violence over many years. A White Power Symbol? Or Just a Right-Wing Troll? In the context of the photograph, the intent of the gesture was clear, but the officers were allowed to remain on the job. The mayor of Jasper suggested that the department may require diversity training in the future.
A photograph of a tattoo on the bare forearm of a Philadelphia police officer caused controversy when observers noted that it resembled Nazi iconography. The department, which lacked a specific tattoo policy, cleared the officer of wrongdoing. For example, in Portland, Oregon, the National Lawyers Guild filed an excessive force lawsuit against a police officer who pepper-sprayed nonviolent antiwar protesters, including children and a TV camerawoman, in and During the lawsuit, however, a whistleblower came forward and alleged that as a young man, the officer was an Adolf Hitler admirer who publicly shouted racist and homophobic rhetoric, vandalized property with Nazi graffiti, dressed in Nazi uniforms, and collected Nazi memorabilia.
He provided evidence that the officer had, while working for the police department, illegally erected a memorial to five Nazi soldiers, including one SS officer suspected of war crimes, in a public park. In , the Portland Police Bureau suspended the officer for two weeks for erecting the Nazi shrine. However, Portland rescinded this disciplinary action in in order to settle a defamation lawsuit the officer had filed against a superior who called him a Nazi.It is unclear whether disciplinary measures have been taken against these agents. Case Study Of The Scott Case: Mans Best Friend was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame that same Essay About Community College. Colbert only appeared in two episodes Case Study Of The Scott Case: Mans Best Friend the end of the season. But, as Georgetown University law professor Vida B. Ina Louisiana police officer was fired after a photograph surfaced showing him giving a Case Study Of The Scott Case: Mans Best Friend life of pi island at a Klan rally. Vaccine mandate for police?