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Excerpt: "Even as it has opened more than 20 civil rights investigations into local law enforcement practices, the Justice Department has staked out positions that make it harder for people to sue the police and that give officers more discretion about when to fire their guns."

Eric Holder. (photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)
Eric Holder. (photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

Holder's DOJ Sided With Police on Every Excessive-Force Case at Supreme Court

By Matt Apuzzo and Adam Liptak, The New York Times

23 April 15


eresa Sheehan was alone in her apartment at a mental health center, clutching what her lawyers said was a small bread knife and demanding to be left alone. San Francisco police officers, responding to a call from a social worker, forced open the door, blinded her with pepper spray and shot her.

It was the kind of violent police confrontation that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has frequently criticized in Cleveland; Albuquerque; Ferguson, Mo.; and beyond. But last month, when Ms. Sheehan’s civil rights lawsuit reached the Supreme Court, the Justice Department backed the police, saying that a lower court should have given more weight to the risks that the officers faced.

At the Supreme Court, where the limits of police power are established, Mr. Holder’s Justice Department has supported police officers every time an excessive-force case has made its way to arguments. Even as it has opened more than 20 civil rights investigations into local law enforcement practices, the Justice Department has staked out positions that make it harder for people to sue the police and that give officers more discretion about when to fire their guns.

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+7 # Blackjack 2015-04-23 10:06
Surprise, surprise! Wonder what mega corporation Holder will be joining as soon as he vacates his current position?
Good riddance!
+7 # Radscal 2015-04-23 14:36
"Good riddance!"

Well, yes. But instead, we get Wall Street sycophant, Loretta Lynch.

Oh, but she opposes the sex slave industry, and the Republicans made theater out of pandering to their bigoted base, so "liberals" are thrilled with her.

Who was the pro-sex slave spokesperson in opposition to her brave stance? Where is their voting bloc?

Theater, folks. Theater.
+4 # Merlin 2015-04-23 16:19
Blackjack 2015-04-23 10:06

Holder works for Obama, and carries out his orders. Holder leaves, but Obama remains, and is choosing another person of the same ilk to replace him.

So, saying “good riddance” to Holder is no more than observing a shift change of corporatist shills. I see nothing to cheer about here.
+5 # fredboy 2015-04-23 10:34
Holder has long been scared of his shadow.

His view will turn, unfortunately too late, when a relative is profiled, pulled over, and beaten senseless or killed by rogue police.

Karma always pays a visit.
+4 # Radscal 2015-04-23 14:38
He already gave us tales of him personally being racially profiled and harassed by cops when he was a State Attorney General.

He knew exactly what he was doing as AG.
+1 # Merlin 2015-04-23 16:25
fredboy 2015-04-23 10:34
"Karma always pays a visit."

This is a fun and happy fantasy that is no more than that; a fantasy. Belief in Karma is the wish of people who are helpless to stop the acts of the wicked, and project their "punishment" onto some higher authority. It sure works as a feel good solution for those who believe.

I obviously don't believe. Seeing reality, as much as am able to see it, cured me of the need for belief.
+5 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-04-23 11:37
The "land of the free" has become a "police state". WAKE UP AMERICA. Take back "our" government.
Those who control the media, control the dialogue.
Pump up fear to justify a militarized police state
Constant cycle of problems
Prevents us from seeing corporate control of government
Corporate control of resources.
+1 # jpmarat 2015-04-23 11:56
It would appear that the bottom line on the Holder-Obama-Wa ll St. admin is "COWARDLY."
+3 # Radscal 2015-04-23 14:40
Or, one could admire how bravely they stood in opposition to their base, whose hopes and dreams they crushed at every step.

Any coward can oppose the opposition. But to openly oppose those who elected you? That takes big bronze ones.
+3 # Merlin 2015-04-23 16:44
jpmarat 2015-04-23 11:56
"It would appear that the bottom line on the Holder-Obama-Wa ll St. admin is "COWARDLY."

Not cowardly. They are just doing their job as dictated by their corporatist bosses. They knew that "getting crap" from the 99% was part of their job and thus it has no affect on them. The "carrot" (carrot and stick approach) they are receiving in prestige, money and later fame and/or corporate positions paying big bucks, is well worth what ever crap they have to endure.

The stick is always hovering in the background. If they go against their bosses they will suffer greatly for doing so, and they know it.

One last point. It must be understood that these people who reach high level political positions, have been working hard to get where they are their whole lives! Everything they have done from their college education forward has been to climb as high up the ladder as they can get. (Holder didn't just suddenly become the AJ overnight.) They know they will have to lie, kiss ass, grovel, back stab, etc. in order to make it to the top. And they have always known it.

Being the way they are is their ideology; their belief system.

Cowardliness does not begin to describe these corporatist puppets and their enablers.
-9 # arquebus 2015-04-23 12:21
I wonder what the reflexive cop haters would have like the cops to do when they encountered Ms Sheehan. Should they have stood there and let her carve on them with her knife or should they have run away. I ask because it seems the haters didn't like the only other option the cops had....disarm her and take her into custody while defending themselves from death or injury.
+6 # Archie1954 2015-04-23 12:42
Although the Department is called Justice, it really isn't about providing that commodity to the US public. It is in fact the government's leading agency of public control. It was created to keep the public from exercising its constitutional rights to freedom and liberty. Any time it can come down on the side of strict and if necessary, violent policing of the public it will.
+2 # Merlin 2015-04-23 16:53
Archie1954 2015-04-23 12:42
Thanks for stating this!

Good analysis! You get right to the heart of the situation… Public Control!

Control by the oligarchs is what most people completely miss!
+2 # lewagner 2015-04-23 19:59
Vote for the Democrats, they'll fight for your civil rights. (just kidding)

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