Attorney General Merrick Garland Puts a Choke Hold on Law Enforcement

Merrick Garland
Merrick Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland has put a choke-hold on law enforcement with some new measures that are designed to make everything fair…

The Department of Justice had a seven-day period a few weeks ago that was the stuff of envy, according to liberals, anyhow. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced some new rules regarding police brutality, including bans on chokeholds and no-knock warrants. He also sought to ensure that the Justice Department wasn’t funding agencies that engaging in racial discrimination.

“This was a big week for civil rights at the DOJ,” figurehead Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, shared in a thread she started regarding the progress on Twitter Thursday. “Proof that elections matter and that having civil rts attys in DOJ leadership matters. Let me walk you through what’s happened in just this one week. It’s actually astounding.”

One of the main steps forward for Ifill and her associates was to be in the form of a review of the Department of Justice’s use of monitors who are overseeing implementation of the consent decrees. The New York Times termed these legal mechanisms as “court-approved deals between the Justice Department and local governmental agencies that are creating a road map for changes to the way that they operate.”

“The department has found that – while consent decrees and monitorships are important tools to increase transparency and accountability – the department can and should do more to improve their efficiency and efficacy,” Garland said in a news release. “The Associate Attorney General has recommended – and I have accepted – a set of 19 actions that the department will take to address those concerns.” Those actions include capping monitoring fees on consent decrees, requiring stakeholder input, imposing specified terms for monitors, and requiring a hearing after five years “so that jurisdictions can demonstrate the progress it has made, and if possible, to move for termination.”

“Consent decrees have proven to be vital tools in upholding the rule of law and promoting transformational change in the state and local governmental entities where they are used,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in that same news release. “The department must do everything it can to guarantee that they remain so by working to ensure that the monitors who help implement these decrees do so efficiently, consistently and with meaningful input and participation from the communities they serve.”

And all of the above action to destroy this country from within was only on Monday.

Kristen Clarke is the leader of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and she announced on Tuesday that they were going to launch an investigation into unconstitutional mistreatment of prisoners in Georgia, as noted by the New York Times.

“Under the Eighth Amendment of our Constitution, those who have been convicted of crimes and sentenced to serve time in prison must never be subjected to ‘cruel and unusual punishments,’” Clarke said when she announced this investigation.

At least 26 people died last year due to “confirmed or suspected homicide” in Georgia prisons, and although this year has been an improvement, there have still been at least 18 of them. This doesn’t include inmates who were left to die in horrible conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inmates that were facing that threat even rioted at the Ware State Prison.

There were two inmates at the facility who died of COVID-19, not to mention the fact that there had been 22 other prisoners and 32 staff members who had come down with COVID as well.

“This is huge. The humanitarian crisis in southern prisons is a critically important issue,” Ifill tweeted of Clarke’s announcement.“Then the DOJ announced that it will ban the use of no-knock entries and chokeholds by federal law enforcement officers (except in cases where deadly force is authorized – more to probe abt the exception to be sure).”

The decision follows the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

“Building trust and confidence between law enforcement and the public we serve is central to our mission at the Justice Department,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news release. “The limitations implemented today on the use of ‘chokeholds,’ ‘carotid restraints’ and ‘no-knock’ warrants, combined with our recent expansion of body-worn cameras to DOJ’s federal agents, are among the important steps the department is taking to improve law enforcement safety and accountability.”

Also on Ifill’s list of Justice Department wins is a review to make sure it isn’t awarding grants to law enforcement agencies that engage in racial discrimination. That review could have wide-reaching effects, touching transportation, health care, education, and pretty much every other department that receives federal funding, The New York Times reported. “Approximately $4.5 billion in federal funding flows through the department to police departments, courts and correctional facilities, as well as victim services groups, research organizations and nonprofit groups,” Times writer Katie Benner wrote. “All of these organizations, not just police departments, could be affected by this review.”

Ifill tweeted that she hasn’t seen a week this productive in a long time, noting that “each with the potential to result in fundamental shifts in longstanding discriminatory practices.” She also said the following: “I’m remembering AG Garland’s confirmation testimony in which he explained that he needed AAG @vanitaguptaCR & Asst AG for Civil Rights @KristenClarkeJD on his team in particular to help him with critical areas of the work with which he does not have experience.”

”This week feels like an important return on his commitment to assembling this rich team.” Now, if you can read through most of this without gagging, all the more power to you. Just like Ancient Rome, “bread and circuses” here we come…