Some people were surprised that the Obama administration would abruptly sue the NYPD for racism with an eye to installing a federal monitor over the NYPD
"The lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s program of stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking people came to a close at midnight Wednesday after pending for five years, four months and 12 days.
And, suddenly, as the clock ticked down to that final deadline, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder put Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on notice that the Justice Department was going to intervene in the case.
In phone calls that stunned both men, Holder said Tuesday that his civil rights lawyers would file papers telling the presiding judge that the feds favored putting the Police Department under a federal monitor should the judge find stop-and-frisk unconstitutional.
Holder offered the mayor of America’s largest city and the country’s most respected law enforcement professional no fair opportunity to respond. After listening to their strenuous objections, he deigned only to delay a decision overnight, purportedly for further thought.
Of course, there really was none. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez notified City Hall on Wednesday that the feds would go ahead exactly as planned and enter into the record a brief that, obviously, had been long in secret preparation.
Without consulting Kelly about the wisdom of stripping the police commissioner of authority over crimefighting strategies.
Without extending to Bloomberg the courtesy of a fair hearing on any topic he might find relevant, not least a mayor’s responsibility for maintaining public safety.
Without due regard for the very real danger that, in constraining perfectly valid police tactics, an aggressive monitor could place the city on a bloody trajectory of rising crime.
Holder’s imperious discourtesy toward Bloomberg and Kelly was breathtaking, and his sudden last-minute interest in the case smacks of raw politics rather than law.
Civil rights activists filed the stop-and-frisk suit way back on Jan. 31, 2008. A total of 1,959 days passed before Perez told City Hall that, indeed, Justice would step in.
That long span of time included the production of mountains of police records, expert analyses, numerous pre-trial rulings and a two-month trial that generated a 7,000-page transcript.
And not a peep from Holder.
Far from the courtroom, however, New York elected officials, critics of stop-and-frisk, lobbied Holder on the matter.
They got the hearing Holder denied to Bloomberg and Kelly.
An attorney general has broad power to present the government’s view to a judge if the U.S. has a substantial interest in a matter. Under that authority, Holder’s papers would go to Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin, who’s had the case from the start.
Scheindlin has made no secret of her discomfort with the NYPD’s strategy. Still, she is charged with deciding whether the evidence actually meets the standards necessary for a constitutional violation.
While this is not a close call — the answer is that the proof fell far short — Scheindlin’s pronounced sympathies could lead her to conclude otherwise. In that event, she would order fixes, including possibly the appointment of a monitor.
In saying he would call on Scheindlin to appoint an overseer if the judge ruled against the NYPD, Holder set the stage for doing so on the verge of the judge’s midnight deadline for submitting arguments.
Thus, he would deny Bloomberg and Kelly any chance of response in a clear abuse of process." via Lucianne
Ed. note: Why the surprise? This is what happens when there's only one functioning political party, in this case, the democrats. Obama has no opposition. He helped the GOP beat the Tea Party, so they owe him big time. He can do whatever he wants. None of which should be a surprise to anyone who was paying attention. Apparently lots of people weren't doing so. Just watching Democracy Now you could see this coming.
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