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Normal People vs. DOJ Elites

The Washington Post carries a story today about black people wanting only to live in peace and safety huddling together in one room of a Baltimore church, at the very moment a group of We-Know-Better DOJ lawyers (presumably with Harvard and Stanford degrees in hand) were in the room across the hall undermining their hopes.

The irony is more tragic than delicious, but plenty of both.

The picture would be bleak enough if the citizens of Baltimore were able to decide for themselves what kind of policing suits their needs.  It's that much worse when DOJ decides the question for them, never having to live with the bloody consequences once they drive their BMW's 35 miles back to Bethesda.

I would give a good deal if black lives actually mattered to DOJ in any operational sense, but it's not going to happen.  The on-the-ground reality black citizens are stuck living with is certain to take a back seat to the anti-police ethos now ruling the roost at the Department.
Here's how the story starts:

They'd come to the same church on the same night to confront the same dilemma facing this city's beleaguered police department. But what they wanted from the police couldn't have been more different.

Eight days had passed since the Justice Department issued a scathing review of the Baltimore Police Department, detailing years of racial discrimination in its law enforcement practices.

Yet the 40 or so longtime residents who gathered in a West Baltimore church basement on this August night -- many of whom were older black women afraid to walk to the store or leave their homes at night -- had come to urge police to clear their corners of miscreants and restore order to their crime-plagued community.

"Please help me," pleaded gas station owner Chaudhry Masood, whose parking lot has been overrun by loiterers and where a 17-year-old was recently shot and killed.

At the same time, in an adjacent church hall, Justice Department civil rights attorneys were discussing how to overhaul the police department with another group of residents intent on curbing the abusive behavior of corner-clearing cops. Those attending included black youths long targeted by police.

Left unmentioned is the reason the "youths" have been "long targeted by the police." Having been a DOJ lawyer in nearby DC for a number of years, I believe I can hazard a guess.  It's that they're smack dealers.

The organizers of each gathering didn't know the other was taking place. And as people showed up Aug. 18, a priest from St. Peter Claver Catholic Church hurriedly attached paper signs to metal railings to direct the flow. The meeting with the police community relations council to the right, the meeting with Justice Department lawyers to the left.


[F]or the residents in St. Peter's church basement, the shootings, robberies and assaults they live with are just as pressing as police abuses.

One man wanted to know where the promised foot patrol officers were. Arlene Fisher, a social worker who has lived all her 67 years in West Baltimore, said the corner stores that dot the sullen landscape are petitioning to stay open 24 hours.

"They'll become a gathering place causing problems," Fisher predicted. "We'll need more police to watch it."

Residents don't like to call 911 when the corners fill, but Fisher said without better places for young people to congregate, they have no choice. She looked down and whispered, "We have to."

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