It did not take long for Donald J. Trump to replace the civil rights page on the White House website with one vowing to end the “dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America.”
So in that regard, he is at least sticking to his campaign promise to give police more authority, including implementing a national stop-and-frisk policy, even though a federal court ruled that practice unconstitutional in 2013.
But do police need anymore authority than they already have?
The voters obviously believed so, including the thousands of cops who voted for him, salivating at the thought of receiving more authority.
The page is titled Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community and states the following”
One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community. A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.
The Trump Administration is committed to reducing violent crime. In 2015, homicides increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. There were thousands of shootings in Chicago last year alone.
Our country needs more law enforcement, more community engagement, and more effective policing.
Trump’s claim that the homicide rate increased by 17 percent in the country’s fifty largest cities is not exactly correct, according to a study conducted by the Brennan Center last year, which concluded that the murder rate is projected to increase by 14 percent in the nation’s 30 largest cities.
The Brennan Center for Justice, described as a “nonpartisan, left-leaning law and public policy institute,” stated this increase is mostly a result of a 44 percent increase in murders in Chicago.
And yes, the study does state that “falling police numbers” along with poverty are to blame for this murder spike in the Windy City.
The 2016 murder rate is projected to be 14 percent higher than last year in the 30 largest cities. Chicago is projected to account for 43.7 percent of the total increase in murders. The preliminary 2016 report identified some reasons for increasing violence in Chicago, such as falling police numbers, poverty and other forms of socioeconomic disadvantage, and gang violence.
However, Trump does not acknowledge that the overall crime rate in the United States are at all-time lows as reported by Time last year.
The Brennan Center report also stated that “concerns about a national crime wave are still premature.”
An increase in the murder rate is occurring in some cities even while other forms of crime remain relatively low. Concerns about a national crime wave are still premature, but these trends suggest a need to understand how and why murder is increasing in some cities.
In contrast, the Obama administration had a page on the White House website dedicated to civil rights where he vowed to reduce “racial bias in policing,” as the Washington Post reports.
The failure to include any information about civil rights protections or the administration’s philosophy on such matters also stood in sharp contrast to that of the Obama administration.
During Obama’s tenure, he directed significant political energy and capital toward expanding LGBT rights, improving police community relations and reducing racial bias in policing, and decreasing certain common forms of economic discrimination including gender wage differentials. He also spoke evocatively about racial tension and tragedies which cost some Americans their lives.
The Obama administration also confronted issues related to racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and identified efforts to expand economic and educational opportunities for the disabled and the nation’s veterans among its efforts to foster equality.
Six months into his presidency, Obama came under fire from cops throughout the country when he organized the “beer summit” between Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and the Massachusetts police officer who arrested him.
Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley was responding to a 911 call about men breaking into a house.
The men turned out to be Gates, who is black, and his driver. Gates said he had returned from an oversees trip, and found his front door jammed.
Crowley arrived and demanded to see proof that Gates lived at the house, which he apparently provided.
But Crowley arrested him for disorderly conduct when Gates asked for his name and badge number.
The arrest turned into a national controversy, which Obama tried to diffuse by inviting the two men to the White House for a beer.
But then polls following the beer summit indicate that white Americans disapproved of Obama’s performance.