Holder Says Blacks Not Equally Treated by Police. Is That News?

Holder Says Blacks Not Equally Treated by Police. Is That News?


Anyone surprised?  Everything Michelle Alexander wrote about in 2010 in The New Jim Crow was re-stated yet again today by Attorney General Eric Holder.

The only question that should have been asked of Holder today was: Why didn’t you disband the Ferguson Police Department.  If they’re so bad why not disband them?  Just as absolutely no one is surprised Darren Wilson will pay no price for shooting Michael Brown eight times, no one is surprised that Holder is re-stating what has been stated over and over for decades regarding the treatment of Blacks by police.

“Amid a highly toxic environment, defined by mistrust and resentment, stoked by years of bad feelings, and spurred by illegal and misguided practices it is not difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of Ferguson like a powder keg,” Holder said at a press conference he took no questions at.

A report on the Ferguson Police by DOJ reports that police routinely discriminates against Blacks. The discrimination impacts, “nearly every aspect of Ferguson police and court operations.” Fear of police is well founded — which is nothing new for anyone paying attention.

The same stats indicating that police were targeting African American could be seen in stop-and-frisk data over a ten year period by the New York City Police Department.  Surprise! Police stopped over 300,000 innocent Black New Yorkers in one year alone.

“The disturbing findings in this report demand urgent remedies which must be swiftly implemented without obstruction or delay, and without further denials of the painful and undeniable facts,” said Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) who represents Ferguson, today in a statement.

“The tragedy of Mike Brown’s unnecessary death, along with the police killings of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others … have illuminated a system of local law enforcement and criminal justice that in too many cases, does not provide equal justice under the law to persons of color in this country,” Clay added.

As usual with these issues it’s not enough to state the problem over and over again.  The solution and the strategies to change the game is where the focus must go if real change is going to happen.

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42, a blog focused on African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor of Virginia. From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Burke appeared each Monday on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. She was born and raised in New York. Email: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @LVBurke. IG: @laurenvburke. Periscope: @LVBurke


  1. A Report on The Ferguson Police by DOJ Reports That Police Routinely Discriminates Against Blacks: Police Misconduct: In 1994, The U.S. Congress, recognizing that police misconduct and violence was systemic in many parts of the country, passed 42 U.S. code section14141, which empowered The Justice Department to file suit against police departments alleging patterns and practices of unconstitutional conduct, and to obtain wide ranging court orders, consent decrees, and independent monitors in order to implement reforms to those practices….Although understaffed, The Pattern and Practice Unit of The Justice Department has attacked systemic and discriminatory deficiencies in police hiring, supervision, and monitoring in numerous police departments over the past 20 years. A particularly egregious act or series of acts of police violence often prompts the unit to initiate an investigation and its lawyers have obtain consent decrees or court orders in Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Steubenville, Ohio, New Orleans, Puerto Rico, Oakland,and Miami…..Last month, lawyers handling The Little Rock cases requested that The DOJ do a pattern and investigation of the LAPD, and the unit is reportedly now investigating the practices of The Ferguson Police Department. While these investigations are not a panacca, they offer a mechanism for exposing and reforming blantly unconstitutional police practices and have also demonstrated how pervasive the problem systemic police violence continues to be….In light of this history, the pre-ordained failure of a biased local prosecutor to obtain an indictment against Darren Wilson should not surprise us. But the movement for justice for Michael Brown has brought widespread attention to the nation. Widespread problem of systemic and racist police violence and highlighted the movement that has come together to battle against it….just two weeks ago, the Brown case, along with the Burge torture cases, was presented to The United Nations Committee against torture in Geneva….The movement should now turn its attention to The Department of Justice, demanding a federal civil rights indictment against Wilson a full scale pattern and practice investigation investigation of The Ferguson Police Department, and, more broadly, an end to systemic and racist police violence…As the history of the battle against racist police violence so pointedly teaches, the public out cry and agitation must continue not only in Ferguson but across the nation….Because as Frederick Douglas rightly stated many years ago, power concedes nothing without a demand.

  2. Why Chuy Garcia Needs to Condemn Rahm Emanuel’s Secret Police Interrogation Site:…”In These Times”….Guardian investigative reporter Spencer Ackerman has sparked a firestorm with a series of reports exposing a”secret site,” in the heart of Chicago’s Predominantly African-American West Side, at which police have conducted off the books interrogation for more than 15 years….”Ackerman reports that Black and Brown Suspects and Witnesses, as well as White Activists, have been taken by police to the abandoned Sears and Robuck Complex, known as Homan Square, and subjected to abuse.”The victims describe, variously, being denied contact with lawyers or family for up to three days, being shackled hand and foot, and being subjected to abuse, starvation, sweltering heat, sensory deprivation and beatings.”On at least one occasion, a detainee…John Hubbard,44..died in an interview room….[”After The Guardian Article appeared, Cook County said the death was due to Heroin Intoxication.”