The Dominion Post

Back to fighting systemic injustice

Views from around the world. These opinions are not necessaril­y shared by newspapers.

- Stuff

The federal government is getting back in the business of fighting systemic racism and forcing local police department­s to halt abusive practices. The Justice Department has opened pattern-or-practice discrimina­tion investigat­ions of the Minneapoli­s and Louisville police department­s. It also issued indictment­s in the February 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, charging three civilian suspects with hate crimes. These are all strong signs that one of America’s most powerful legal weapons – the full weight of the federal government – is once again being used to fight injustice.

But law enforcemen­t reform, not the weakening of local police forces, should still be the goal. The Biden administra­tion’s review of cities with records of questionab­le policing practices signals a much more aggressive approach toward that goal.

Attorney-General Merrick Garland announced last week that the Justice Department would be investigat­ing whether the police department­s behind the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd systemical­ly engage in discrimina­tory practices.

A more aggressive Justice Department approach under Biden will put the nearly 18,000 law enforcemen­t agencies across the nation on notice that the days of police impunity are over.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand