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Conservative publications chastise conservatives for ignoring DoJ report on Ferguson

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This is interesting: two different conservative publications have strongly criticized conservatives for ignoring or making light of the DoJ report on Ferguson MO.

Leon Wolf at Red State writes under the headline “Many Conservatives are Blowing it on the Ferguson DOJ Report”:

It’s unfortunate, the way news is consumed and interpreted in the age of twitter. Everyone feels tremendous pressure to form an opinion quickly and state it loudly and with certainty. Once this has been done, people are highly resistant to changing their minds and they become impervious to new evidence, often dismissing out of hand outright facts just because they are reported by a given source (e.g., “the media is untrustworthy” or “you can’t trust the Holder Department of Justice.”) Perhaps nowhere has this phenomenon been more obvious (or regrettable) than in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown. Interpreting the news out of Ferguson has become a part of ideological tribalism in which, if you are a conservative you stand for the Ferguson PD and if you are a liberal you stand against them. Thus, liberals have become highly resistant to assimilating information that strongly suggests that “hands up, don’t shoot” never happened. Conservatives, on the other hand, have become highly resistant to assimilating information that strongly suggests that the Ferguson PD – as with many other municipal police departments in the country – truly is out of control, in that it recklessly violates the constitutional rights of the citizens of Ferguson and does so in a manner that has a clearly disproportionate impact on minorities.

I took the time over the weekend to read the entirety of the 102-page Department of Justice report on the Ferguson PD (“FPD”). I cannot recommend highly enough that you do the same. During the course of this reading, I intentionally read it with as jaundiced of an eye towards the Department of Justice as possible. I intentionally disregarded all commentary regarding what the DOJ investigators reported that they saw, and also all of their reported interviews of the citizens of Ferguson and FPD officers. I decided to say to myself, let’s assume that everything DOJ says is a lie, and also that everyone who was willing to talk to the DOJ during the course of their investigation either lied or shaded the truth. What remained astounded me.

Even if you read only the parts of the Ferguson DOJ report that come directly from the files of the FPD (which is to say, files that would be most favorable to the Department), the report paints an incredibly damning picture of the Ferguson Police Department. No conservative on earth should feel comfortable with the way the Ferguson PD has been operating for years, even according to their own documents.

The reflexive defense of the FPD by conservatives tends to come from two sources: . . .

Continue reading.

The second is by Jason Lee Storts in National Review:

The shooting of two Ferguson police officers on Thursday is despicable. I believe that people who call for violence against cops are not morally blameless of the violence that ensues; I also believe that the people who actually commit such acts are fully accountable individuals whose milieu does not diminish their guilt. Blame is not zero-sum. But I think, finally, that Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke is wrong, and contemptibly so, to blame the Justice Department’s report on Ferguson for having “fueled this cop hatred, this anti-police sentiment, that’s going on in America.” This sort of view seems to be widely held on the right, with many people dismissing the Ferguson report’s criticisms as spurious. Having now read the report myself, I think, to the contrary, that anyone who cares about protecting citizens from abusive and arbitrary officialdom should — whatever else he may think of Eric Holder’s tenure as attorney general — be grateful that the report exists. Here are the main points I’ve taken away from it: Ferguson police officers have routinely violated constitutional rights and engaged in conduct that is, by any reasonable standard, appalling. If you doubt me, read the report; if you don’t have time, head over to The Atlantic’s website and read Conor Friedersdorf’s compilation of excerpts from it. By way of summary: The report establishes that Ferguson police officers “violate the Fourth Amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause, and using unreasonable force. Officers frequently infringe on residents’ First Amendment rights, interfering with their right to record police activities and making enforcement decisions based on the content of individuals’ expression.” Each of these claims is supported by descriptions of multiple violations. Here is one such; many others are equally outrageous:  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

16 March 2015 at 9:49 am

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