The Department of Justice announced it will send millions of dollars to various community-activist groups to combat urban crime and reduce tensions between racial minorities and the police.
But critics believe such policies will only fuel further unrest by funding many of the so-called “community organizers” responsible for creating anti-police sentiment in American cities.
To spread awareness of the new campaign, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch toured Cincinnati Tuesday and identified the city as a model for how police departments around the country should operate.
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Until recently, Cincinnati operated under a “Collaborative Agreement” after a 2001 police shooting. The agreement allowed various community organizations, including the Cincinnati Black United Front and the American Civil Liberties Union, to work directly with the police through a court-brokered agreement.
New guidelines on how officers were to interact with the public, especially blacks, were often imposed over the objections of police themselves.
President Obama, himself, toured the crime-plagued city of Camden, New Jersey, Monday to promote the new report from his “21st Century Policing Task Force,” designed to increase public trust in the police.
The report calls for “mitigating implicit bias” as a “part of training at all levels of a law enforcement organization to increase awareness and ensure respectful encounters both inside the organization and with communities.”
It particularly condemned “the use of disrespectful language and the implicit biases that lead offices to rely upon race” in the context of the law enforcement policy known as “stop and frisk.”
The president also restricted the availability of military hardware previously provided to local law enforcement. Critics, including Cheryl Chumley, author of “Police State USA,” charge such actions are less about “saving innocent lives” and more about “creating a social justice movement that’s likely to clamp police from doing their jobs even while it federalizes the nation’s forces.”
The Justice Department also announced $163 million in grants to be distributed for the purpose of “building trust with the community.” As part of its effort to execute the recommendations of the president’s task force, the Justice Department is looking for 10 localities to participate in a “collaborative reform” process to serve as a model for the rest of the country, emphasizing “procedural justice” and “implicit bias training.”
A list of grants awarded by the Justice Department in 2013 indicate federal funding has been and will continue to be directed toward activist groups described by critics as “racial agitators.”
For example, “Community Policing Development Awards” were given in 2013 to programs including “Building Trust With Communities of Color” from the Vera Institute of Justice, the “Race and Social Justice Initiative” at the Portland Police Department and “Racial Reconciliation, Truth-Telling, and Police Legitimacy” at John Jay College.
Matthew Vadum, an expert in left-wing activist groups and the author of “Subversion, Inc.,” warns such federal funding invariably finds its way into the hands of progressive activists who personally profit from increased community tensions.
“President Obama is no stranger to irony, or hypocrisy for that matter,” Vadum said in an interview with WND.
“After attacking police as stupid, racist, vicious and thuggish almost non-stop throughout his presidency, now he suddenly cares about police officers and the communities they serve. Now he wants to throw millions of taxpayer dollars at ACORN-like groups and professional left-wing agitators whose calling in life is to generate civil unrest,” he said.
“This means that people like the president’s point man on race relations, riot organizer Al Sharpton, will get his hands on lots of government money. This money won’t actually help anyone except for the often-violent Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizers who have been living high off the hog ever since one of their own took up residence in the White House.”
‘Wrong solutions to a problem he created’
Civil-rights activist Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, author of “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America,” argues the Obama administration will use grants to reward political allies instead of fighting crime and helping the black community.
Peterson told WND: “Barack Obama and his cronies helped create this problem and now they’re offering all the wrong solutions. The $163 million will not go to fix inner city issues; the bulk of the money will be used to pay off Barack Obama’s political cronies.
“Obama knows the money won’t be used to rebuild the black community – the only thing it will do is empower his far-left political allies. This is an example of redistribution of wealth. ACORN, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, the NAACP and corrupt black churches will benefit from this plan.”
Talk-radio host, lawyer and widely respected commentator Larry Elder, author of “Dear Father, Dear Son,” believes one of the most overlooked aspects of the president’s task force is its focus on Baltimore as an example to follow.
Elder noted that according to the report, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts commissioned a study to evaluate the police department and the community’s views of the agency.
The DOJ report states the Baltimore study “uncovered broken policies, outdated procedures, outmoded technology, and operating norms that put officers at odds with the community they are meant to serve.”
“It was clear that dramatic and dynamic change was needed,” the report continued. “Ultimately, the Baltimore police created the Professional Standards and Accountability Bureau, tasked with rooting out corruption, holding officers accountable, and implementing national best practices for polices and training. New department heads were appointed and a use of force review structure based on the Las Vegas model was implemented.”
Elder said that if the Obama administration is looking for “models” for the rest of the country to follow, its own task force highlights the efforts of a city which only now is recovering from race riots and tensions between the black community and police.
He also thinks the Obama administration’s grant program will simply be a waste of money.
Elder observed acidly: “As to the $163 million, a cynic would call it hush money. I guess it’s cheaper than giving them ‘space to destroy.'”
The real solution to urban hopelessness, says Peterson, is for blacks to take responsibility for their own families and their own communities.
By redistributing more of other people’s money, concludes Peterson, President Obama is simply ensuring the culture of dependence endures.
“Blacks have been used for the past 50 years,” Peterson charged. “The liberal Democrats keep them angry at whites, and they use them to get more money to fund their useless pet programs and political aspirations. Shame on Barack Obama and shame on the Department of Justice.”