Loretta Lynch parroted the newest Obama administration slogan as she made her case for the Justice Department’s slice of the federal budget. Appearing before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday, she spoke of the ”trust that must exist between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.”1
We’ve been hearing a lot about that particular type of trust. A lot less has been said about the trust lost between people and their government when public officials inflict their social agenda on communities, something we should be watching as politics continues to pass judgment in places like Baltimore before the wheels of justice engage.
Lynch and Holder guilty of sloganeering?
Are Cabinet members issued a list of essential propaganda slogans for every contentious issue? Sloganeering is a mainstay in politics that the Obama administration has pushed to its absolute limits (see: Middle Class Bailout Is Built On Political Slogans).
Eric Holder had already used Lynch’s remark about trust in a December 2014 meeting in Chicago:
The tragic losses of these and far too many other Americans have raised urgent, national questions. And they have sparked an important conversation – testing the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect.2
Trust between any publicly-funded service and the community that foots the bill is important, but so is the trust that judgment in sensitive situations not be rendered for political ends so justice becomes impossible.
Politics means judgment comes before justice
The officers in Baltimore were charged less than two weeks ago. When Lynch was discussing her department’s funding on Thursday, the Baltimore situation was under review:
We’re currently in the process of considering the request from city officials and community leaders for an investigation into whether the Baltimore Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of civil rights violations and I intend to have a decision in the coming days.3
One day later Lynch seemed to contradict herself. Was reform already a done deal? Her words gave the impression that the process was well underway:
I have spent the last few days with my team considering which of the Justice Department’s tools for police reform best meets the current needs of the Baltimore Police Department and the broader Baltimore community.4
Fixing Baltimore sounded like a bygone conclusion:
I have no illusions that reform will be easy; the challenges we face did not arise in a day, and change will not come overnight. It will take time and sustained effort.5
Meanwhile the public and the officers charged must wait for justice, a difficult thing to deliver when judgment that a civil rights wrong was committed has already been passed.
Trust is the loser in the rush to judgment
Mayor Rawlings-Blake crumbled with astonishing speed in the wake of her city’s meltdown, asking for help from the feds for a situation she bore responsibility for and seemed unprepared to handle. The mayor asked for “bolder reforms” and like Lynch spoke of trust6 between police and the community when she acknowledged the Justice Department’s helping hand. What federal involvement could accomplish is taking the heat off of her office by bringing the city under the umbrella of civil rights violations Obama administration officials have turned into a nationwide scourge (see: Civil Rights Violations are Hard Work for DOJ).
Is it possible to have trust between government and the people when a rush to judgment is essential politics whenever an opportunity beckons? Vandals, thugs, and looters in Baltimore are still being referred to as “protesters,”7 not the urban terrorists they so quickly became. Sadly, they have a greater connection with liberal government officials than many Americans. They saw an opportunity and seized it. Lynch is no dummy. She is doing exactly the same thing.