The Dominion Post
Back to fighting systemic injustice
Views from around the world. These opinions are not necessarily shared by newspapers.
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.