A DoJ Initiative I Could Support, If Only I Could Trust the DoJ
The policing power is one of the most fundamental and essential powers of government, but it is also one of the most dangerous. While necessary to protect our liberties from encroachment by fellow citizens, police departments are also themselves a frequent source violations. Proponents of limited government must remain as leery of police officers and their authority as we are other concentrations of governmental power, although the tendency for far too many is to grant them unquestioning deference in the name of law and order.
Local police departments have proven incapable of effectively policing themselves, and prefer to sweep problems under the rug whenever possible. Given the inherent dangers in granting government agents with badges the authority to order citizens around, lock them away, or kill them without much likelihood of any repercussions, it is to our benefit that the dual sovereignty of state and federal governments provide an incentives to serve as a check on the excesses of the other, such as described by this story about the Department of Justice increasing investigations into local police behavior.
Unfortunately, the Department of Justice seems only interested in abuses against particular classes of individuals:
The Obama administration is ramping up civil rights enforcement against local police nationwide, opening a number of investigations to determine whether officers are guilty of brutality or discrimination against Hispanics and other minorities.
The civil rights of all are worth protecting against police brutality, not just those of the approved victim groups and Democratic voting blocs.
It is sad that, while there is a clear need for greater checks on the power of police departments throughout the nation, I simply do not trust this particular Justice Department, where under the guidance of Eric Holder hiring has been extremely politicized, to do so in a way that puts aside partisanship and eschews the social destructiveness of identity politics.