Most people could tell that things were going to get worse if Donald Trump got elected in 2016. In the lead up to the election even Trump himself said that voter fraud was widespread, and even predicted that there would be continuous ongoing investigations into the president. Of course he was talking about the imaginary votes of millions of undocumented immigrants, and investigations into Hillary Clinton, instead of what really happened with Cambridge Analytica and the investigation into his possible collusion with Russia. Something else he boasted about was the need for police to be rougher with people accused of committing a crime.
With an attitude like that it’s no wonder that today Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that the Trump administration would not be investigating the recent shooting of an unarmed black man. Instead leaving it up to local authorities to run their own investigation into their own police department, which usually leads to no action against offending officers.
What led to today’s statement by Sanders was the police shooting of Stephon Clark, who was unarmed, in Sacramento, CA last week. The 22-year-old Clark was shot 20 times while standing in the backyard of his grandmother. Officers said they thought he was holding a gun, but it turned out he had a cell phone in his hand instead. No matter what he was holding in his hand, he would not have had time to even drop it before officers opened fire on him.
Today Sanders had this to say after being asked whether Trump would have the matter investigated.
“We want to make sure all law enforcement is carrying out the letter of the law. The president is very supportive of law enforcement. But at the same time, in these specific cases and specific instances, those will be left up to local authorities to make that determination and is not something for the federal government to weigh in on.”
CNN reports that the shooting of Clark has sparked widespread outrage, anger and protests in Sacramento in the last week. Protests have blocked access to the arena where the Sacramento Kings play, and protesters even interrupted a city council meeting. Even though the Trump administration refuses to get involved in the shooting, the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is planning to provide “independent oversight” in the investigation. Becerra had this to say,
‘I stand together with Sacramento law enforcement, city and community leaders to announce that the California Department of Justice will lend our experience to ensure the investigation into the tragic death of Stephon Clark is fair, thorough, and impartial.’
Things were much different when President Obama was in office. He was disturbed when unarmed black men were shot and killed, and his administration routinely conducted investigations into police departments when shootings of unarmed black men occurred.
President Obama was smart enough to know that “local authorities” often give their own officers preferential treatment that never led to charges against the accused officers, or any kind of substantial change in their departments. Trump isn’t smart enough, or chooses to willingly ignore, that police brutality is a very real thing happening across this country, thus he will never have Attorney General Jeff Sessions get involved.
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