DOJ Asks Judge to Dismiss Lawsuit Against Trump & Barr for Clearing Protestors from Lafayette Square

Protesters gathered on May 29 – June 7 to protest the killing of George Floyd

Last year, Bill Barr and others directed that Lafayette Square be cleared of protestors who were exercising their 1st Amendment rights so then-President Donald Trump could walk across the street to stand in front of a church for a political photo-op. The ACLU filed suit on behalf of protestors and journalists that were assaulted by law enforcement officers while they cleared the way for Trump’s political stunt.

In a troubling move, the Department of Justice has now urged the judge to dismiss the case, claiming that Trump, Barr and other government officials have immunity from this particular lawsuit. This video presents an argument for why the suit should not be dismissed but instead should proceed to the discovery phase to, at a minimum, determine if Trump and Barr were acting within the scope of their official governmental duties when they ordered the area cleared – shutting down the protestors’ exercise of their 1st Amendment rights, for a presidential photo op.

TIME BOMB: 32% Of Households Missed July Payments

Transcript

00:00
another terrifying economic
00:03
fact for everybody about the kovid
00:05
depression here
00:07
this is in cnbc as the economic fallout
00:10
from the coronavirus pandemic continues
00:12
almost one-third of u.s households
00:16
32 percent have not made their full
00:18
housing payments
00:20
for july yet according to a survey by
00:22
apartment list
00:23
and online rental platform about 19
00:26
percent of americans
00:27
made no housing payment at all during
00:29
the first week of the month
00:31
and 13 only paid a portion of their rent
00:33
or mortgage
00:34
that’s the fourth month in a row that a
00:37
quote
00:37
historically high number of households
00:40
were unable to pay their housing bill
00:41
on time and in full up from 30 percent
00:46
in june and 31 in may
00:49
renters low income and younger
00:51
households were most
00:52
likely to miss their payments apartment
00:54
list found
00:57
so listen to this many households
01:01
have already spent their one-time
01:03
stimulus check
01:04
the one-time 1200 check and the extra
01:07
600
01:08
per week in unemployment insurance
01:12
used by many to cover essentials like
01:14
housing
01:15
runs out at the end of july
01:19
that means even more households could
01:22
potentially miss
01:24
their rent or mortgage payments in the
01:26
coming months
01:30
we’re already at 32 percent
01:34
we’re already at 32 percent
what’s that going to go up to when you
get rid of the 600
per week unemployment insurance increase
01:44
and again it goes away at the end of
01:46
this month
01:48
what’s that going to get up to over 50
01:51
percent
over 50 percent of people unable to pay
their rent or their mortgage
01:57
over half the country is that what’s
01:59
gonna happen over half the country
02:01
can’t pay their rent and can’t pay their
02:03
mortgage
02:07
i’m at a loss for words we’ve never seen
02:09
anything like this before
02:10
i don’t know how many times i could tell
02:12
you that
02:14
when you look at the subprime mortgage
02:16
crisis in the great recession
02:18
in 2009 guys
02:22
even before covid we were kicking two
million people
out of their house i believe per month
which is higher
than the height of the great recession
that was pre-coveted
02:35
pre-covet what’s gonna happen
02:39
when we’re totally done with covid no
02:41
more cases which it’ll be a while by the
02:42
way before we get there
02:44
what’s gonna happen to all these people
who can’t make their payments what’s
02:50
going to happen
02:52
over 50 percent of the country perhaps
is not going to be able to make their
02:55
payments
02:59
you think we’re seeing social unrest
with this george floyd situation
just wait just wait
03:07
there will be social unrest the likes of
03:09
which we maybe haven’t seen in this
03:11
country before
when you have real unemployment over 20
percent when you have a situation where
maybe half the country or
more can’t pay the bills
i mean that’s a recipe for revolution i
don’t want to sound hyperbolic about it
03:26
but like all the distractions in the
world
cannot save us from the inevitable
i get it you know we live in the modern
era we got computers
we got netflix we’re like plugged in in
a way that can distract us from
all the problems of everyday life but if
over half the country can’t
keep a roof over their head what do you
think is going to happen
03:53
and just so everybody understands i’m an
03:56
idiot loudmouth youtuber and i’m talking
03:58
about this
03:59
do you think that mitch mcconnell do you
04:01
think that nancy pelosi or chuck schumer
04:04
do you think that trump or his merry
04:06
band of idiot advisors like larry kudlow
04:10
you think that they know that this is on
04:12
the way and that
04:14
this is the dire situation that we’re in
04:15
you think they know they have literally
04:17
no idea
04:18
trump goes out there every day now and
04:19
brags about the v-shaped recovery
04:21
it’s unbelievable the stock market is
04:23
bouncing back
the stock market 92 of the stock market
is owned by the top
10 of income earners
so you’re bragging about the stock
market you’re bragging about how the
rich you’re doing you’re bragging about
04:38
how the corporations are doing
04:40
guys we had a full corporate bailout we
04:43
had full
04:44
corporate socialism at the beginning of
04:46
this crisis it was naomi klein shock
04:48
doctrine 101.
04:51
they looked at kovid they looked at the
04:54
impact
04:55
the federal reserve the central bank
04:57
stepped in and said we will do anything
04:58
to prop the market up a trillion dollars
05:00
in liquidity per day
05:01
fine then you had the cares act
05:04
the coveted bailout it was crumbs to the
05:06
people but really the point of that was
05:08
the five trillion dollars to corporate
05:09
america
05:10
to let them know hey we got your back
05:14
so we fully socialized corporate america
propped them up and then now
regular people are the ones who are
getting screwed why didn’t we just not
bail them out and bail
just do a bailout from the bottom up
instead of the top down this is the same
thing we didn’t know eight we did a
top-down
bailout not a bottom-up same thing now
we did a top-down bailout not a
bottom-up
well when you don’t bail out from the
bottom up this is what happens
you’re gonna have 50 of the country who
can’t live who can’t put a roof over
their head
we’ve never seen anything like this and
to think about the fact
that in the midst of this crisis with a
pandemic
they’re like no we will not do medicare
05:56
for all you’re not going to get health
05:57
care
06:01
there’s a pandemic bro people can’t pay
06:04
the bills they can’t even put a roof
06:05
over there do you think they can afford
06:06
medical bills if they get sick
06:09
are you kidding me even the idea even
06:12
the concept
06:13
of medical bills makes me sick just
06:15
hearing it
06:17
somehow other countries have figured out
06:19
how to make sure everything’s covered
06:20
when it comes to your health
06:22
this country nope you might have to go
bankrupt you have to go bankrupt because
you got sick
that’s the way it works we’ve covered
06:28
stories what was it forty thousand
06:30
dollar bill because somebody had coveted
06:32
and they needed a lot of care
06:36
they’re denying you universal health
06:38
care in a pandemic
06:40
they’re denying you universal basic
06:43
income
06:44
when you can’t work because of the
06:46
pandemic
06:48
they give you a one-time 1 200 payment
06:50
that you went through in probably a week
if they don’t make real concessions i
shudder thinking about what happens
in the future if they don’t do real
concessions if they don’t do medicare
for all
07:04
if they don’t do universal basic income
07:07
i
07:07
shudder at what’s going to happen this
country is coming apart at the seams it
could come
apart a lot worse than it already has
because there’s no way you can keep the
facade going
07:21
when probably over half the people will
07:23
not be able to put a roof over their
07:25
head
what do you want to do you want to you
want to evict all of them or foreclose
on all of them you want to keep them all
07:30
out of their
07:31
their place where they live is that what
07:32
you want to do
you want millions and millions and
millions and millions of
new homeless people is that what you
want to do
you know i knew our government was
totally corrupt and terrible
but i think i was naive in the sense
that
on some level i thought well they won’t
let it get
beyond a certain point like it won’t
get so bad that it threatens the fabric
of the system
period no it will and they’re totally
08:09
unaware
08:09
it absolutely will they’ll let it get as
bad as possible because these guys are
not there to represent you
they’re not they’re given money to get
elected
by corporations and billionaires so when
they get in there they represent
corporations and billionaires they don’t
care about you
and this is the result this is the
08:26
result
08:28
we have the solutions that’s the thing
08:30
that’s probably the most frustrating
08:31
is that we know what would work we know
08:33
how to fix these problems
08:35
we know how to make our country better
08:37
and they just they’re not doing any of
08:38
those ideas they’re not doing medicare
08:40
for all
08:41
they’re not doing free college they’re
08:42
not doing a great new deal they’re not
08:44
doing a living wage
08:45
they’re not ending right to work laws
08:47
and having stronger
08:49
union laws they’re not doing universal
08:52
basic income
08:54
there are really clear ways they’re not
08:55
getting money out of politics
08:58
they’re really clear ways to fix all
09:00
this stuff they don’t want to do it
09:02
they want to do it and we’re about to
09:04
see unrest
09:05
that again will make the george floyd
09:06
protest look like cakewalk because
09:11
this may surpass the great depression if
09:13
these numbers
09:14
come to fruition
09:17
think about how the history books are
09:19
going to look at this point in time
09:21
think about how they’re going to look
09:22
back on this
09:25
kind things are not going to be said
09:27
about this era about this generation
09:29
and i haven’t even touched climate
09:30
change yet which is ecological disaster
09:32
which is
09:33
civilization threatening haven’t even
09:35
touched that yet
09:40
oh that is a nihilistic laugh i just had
09:44
if i’ve ever heard of one

Economist’s Black Lives Matter Criticism Draws Calls for Resignation

Debate over comments from academic-journal editor Harald Uhlig comes during national protests over police brutality

A prominent economist faced pressure from others in his field to step down from an editing post because of comments he made criticizing the Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police movements, reflecting some of the turmoil roiling economics and other professions following the recent police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis.

The sparring this week between critics and defenders of University of Chicago economist Harald Uhlig, the lead editor of the Journal of Political Economy, comes during national protests over police brutality and discussions about racial inequality and policing practices.

The debate over Mr. Uhlig follows several years in which the economics profession has sought to grapple with tensions in its ranks over its lack of racial and gender diversity.

In a Twitter post late Monday, Mr. Uhlig said that Black Lives Matter—a long-running campaign focused on issues of police brutality—had “just torpedoed itself, with its full-fledged support of #defundthepolice,” a reference to calls by activists to shift government spending away from police departments. Those calls have increased since Mr. Floyd’s killing.

Time for sensible adults to enter back into the room and have serious, earnest, respectful conversations about it all,” Mr. Uhlig wrote. “We need more police, we need to pay them more, we need to train them better,” he added.

Backlash grew quickly on Twitter, including demands from prominent and rank-and-file economists for Mr. Uhlig’s resignation from the publication, which describes itself as “one of the oldest and most prestigious journals in economics.”

He belittled the movement,” said Olugbenga Ajilore, senior economist at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning Washington think tank, who supports Mr. Uhlig’s resignation.

Mr. Uhlig and the Journal of Political Economy didn’t immediately return requests for comments. Mr. Uhlig apologized Tuesday on Twitter and said his views weren’t pronouncements by the journal or the University of Chicago.

“My tweets in recent days and an old blog post have apparently irritated a lot of people. That was far from my intention: let me apologize for that,” Mr. Uhlig wrote.

Harald Uhlig@haralduhlig

Too bad, but per its core organization @Blklivesmatter just torpedoed itself, with its full-fledged support of : “We call for a national defunding of police.” Suuuure. They knew this is non-starter, and tried a sensible Orwell 1984 of saying,

279 people are talking about this

Critics also had flagged past posts on his blog, including one in 2017 that criticized National Football League players for on-field, kneeling protests over police brutality.

Mr. Ajilore said Mr. Uhlig’s comments reflected a failure to recognize that the Black Lives Matter movement has had an impact on policing policy. Mr. Ajilore said the comments were further troubling because of how closely academic economists’ career trajectories are tied to their ability to have editors approve research for publication in top-tier journals, such as the Journal of Political Economy.

How can you be an objective arbiter of work when you’re not able to recognize actual, tangible, serious, significant movements?” Mr. Ajilore asked.

Maximilian Auffhammer, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, tweeted on Tuesday a link to a letter that called for Mr. Uhlig to step down from his post at the journal, with encouragement for others to sign it.

“Prof. Uhlig is welcome to say whatever he wants. But his comments hurt and marginalize people of color and their allies in the economics profession,” Mr. Auffhammer, who planned to deliver the letter Thursday, said in an email Wednesday.

“I would also argue that they call into question his impartiality in assessing academic work on this and related topics. More broadly they damage the standing of the economics discipline in society,” he said.

Mr. Uhlig’s defenders also circulated their arguments online, saying in a letter he should remain in the journal post.

“We, the undersigned, do not believe political litmus tests should be applied when deciding who receives prominent academic positions. This is bad for economics,” the counterpetition said.

Robin Hanson, associate professor of economics at George Mason University, said he had signed the letter in support of Mr. Uhlig.

“The line is moving here in terms of how enthusiastically you must support a party line,” Mr. Hanson said. “You can’t in any way seem at all critical or you’re threatening our unity or something. That’s a Stalin level of conformity,” he added.

The American Economic Association has said it is working to improve the profession’s culture since a survey released in 2018 found women and minorities felt they were discriminated against in hiring and the publication process at top economics journals.

“We acknowledge the pain of our colleagues and students—and especially our Black colleagues and students—who must once again bear witness to evidence that violent racism has not yet been eradicated from our society,” the AEA’s executive committee said in a June 5 statement on Mr. Floyd’s death.

“We commit ourselves personally and professionally to actions that the economics profession can and should take to contribute to broader social efforts to root out racism,” the statement added.

Several black economists, and others, have called for the profession’s research methods to better address racial disparities.

William Spriggs, chief economist to the AFL-CIO, wrote in a recent open letter to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis that Mr. Floyd’s killing offers the economics profession a chance to reflect on shortcomings in its approach to race-related issues and research.

The overwhelming majority of explorations of racial disparities in economic outcomes remains deeply tied to that view of race as an exogenous variable,” Mr. Spriggs wrote. That model leads to economic analysis that “assumes that there is something ‘deficient’ about black people.”

Mr. Spriggs, in an interview, said economists should instead be more willing to identify the construct of race itself as the cause of certain unequal outcomes for African-Americans.

Our theory is that the market rewards everything equally,” Mr. Spriggs said. Sometimes, “somebody is putting their hand on the scale and race is the marker that they put their hand on the scale.”

The Head Of CrossFit Told Staff On A Zoom Call, “We’re Not Mourning For George Floyd”

Hours before he posted a controversial tweet on Saturday night that has sparked backlash for his company, Greg Glassman, CrossFit’s CEO and founder, told gym owners on a private Zoom call, “We’re not mourning for George Floyd — I don’t think me or any of my staff are,” according to a full recording of the meeting obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than that it’s the white thing to do — other than that, give me another reason,” he asked a Minneapolis gym owner who had questioned why the brand hadn’t posted a statement about the protests across the country after the death of George Floyd.

The 75-minute Zoom call, which was sent to BuzzFeed News via its secure tipline, was a part of an initiative that CrossFit had started after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered gyms across the country. CrossFit affiliate owners who spoke with BuzzFeed News said they were invited at random to the check-in calls over the past three months with Glassman and other staffers from CrossFit’s corporate headquarters.

The call was held hours before Glassman responded to a tweet on Saturday night that called racism a public health issue, writing, “It’s FLOYD-19.” His tweet drew immediate backlash from gym owners and caused Reebok to end a partnership deal with the company. CrossFit subsequently posted an apology on Glassman’s behalf, calling his words “not racist but a mistake.”

“Floyd is a hero in the black community and not just a victim,” he said in his public apology. “I should have been sensitive to that and wasn’t. I apologize for that.”

But during the Zoom call hours earlier, which had been between 16 affiliates and staff members, Glassman repeatedly expressed doubts about whether systemic racism existed and questioned the motives of protests around the country.

“I doubt very much that they’re mourning for Floyd,” Glassman said on the call about protesters and CrossFitters who were looking for the company to speak out. “I don’t think that there’s a general mourning for Floyd in any community.”

He also recounted unfounded conspiracy theories on the call that included speculation Floyd was killed to “silence him” due to a purported, baseless role in a criminal conspiracy involving counterfeit money.

Glassman speculated that the nightclub where both Floyd and his alleged killer, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, worked has “been under investigation by the FBI for over a decade for laundering money.”

“It’s very interesting that George gets popped with counterfeits, and who comes but the head of security from the dance club? Watch: This thing’s going to turn into first-degree murder,” he said. “That’s what it’s going to turn into. And it’s going to be because I’m predicting this. We have friends in the FBI in your neighborhood, and they’re of the view that this was first-degree murder and it was to silence him over the counterfeit money. That’s the belief. That’s what the cops think.”

Glassman and representatives for CrossFit did not respond to repeated requests for comment for this story. BuzzFeed News is publishing select clips from the call, but not the full audio, in order to protect the identity of the source who shared it.

Listen to clips of Glassman on the call, edited together by BuzzFeed News to protect the identity of the source who shared it.

During the call, Glassman also complained about looting and buildings that had been set on fire. He questioned the legitimacy of the protest movement that has gripped the nation in the three weeks since Floyd’s death.

“Moved to action? Burning the city down, is that the action? Destruction of Black- and minority-owned businesses, is that the action?” Glassman asked while speaking to a gym owner from Minneapolis who detailed what their members had been doing to help the community in the aftermath of nights of looting and protests.

“I would prefer a trial of a murderer rather than burning the city down. I think that the law has a better response. I think burning your city to the ground and burning a police station to the ground because a cop killed what was very likely going to be a coconspirator in a counterfeit ring — I just don’t get the burning thing. How about the Black cop that was killed?” Glassman said later in the call, adding that he wasn’t going to “fund antifa” — another conspiracy theory — because “a guy got killed.”

Glassman told the owners on the call that “killing George was wrong” before adding that “burning the town down was wrong, killing the Black cop was wrong, and the Black-on-Black murder every weekend in every one of our cities is a tragedy.”

He told the Minneapolis gym owner on the call that he thought the city’s plans to defund the police department were “terrifying” after they outlined how their community was trying to rebuild from Floyd’s death.

“It sounds like more of the same. It sounds like punishing the cops. It sounds like blaming the police for all of the problems in blighted communities, and I don’t think anything could be farther from the truth. Have you ever done a ride-along with cops in a rough neighborhood?” Glassman said. “You don’t have to answer, but I have many, many times, and that is crazy tough work and almost all of the men and women are professionals.“

During a lengthy discussion on the coronavirus, Glassman again shared more unfounded theories. “The Chinese let this virus get out of the laboratory, and that indeed did happen,” he said. (US intelligence officials have said they have not formally concluded whether the virus emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.)

Glassman also trashed epidemiology as “a social science,” said upstate New Yorkers should secede from the rest of their state due to the strict lockdown measures in New York City, and urged gym owners to only pretend to comply with health precautions when they reopen.

“It was a panic. Absolute panic right from the start. And I think it’s inevitable that it’s going to turn out that this has cost way more lives than have been saved. Way more,” he said. “At some point, you’ve got to do what’s right, and it may not come with approval. It may not be seen as the right thing to do, but you still have to do it. It’s the burden.”

“I was asked by the Italians, ‘What would you do, coach?’ And I said, ‘I would agree to any restrictions put on me by the health authorities, and I would open my gym, and then 10 minutes later I would do whatever the fuck I wanted. That’s what I would do.'”

Mike Young — the owner of a fitness facility in Morrisville, North Carolina, that contains a CrossFit affiliate — was one of the people on the call. He’d had the franchise for more than a decade and had been excited to speak with the CrossFit CEO and owner. “I get to meet this guy who’s probably been the biggest influence in this field,” Young told BuzzFeed News, “and then it turned into a shitshow, really, where the guy is just — conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory.

“My first thought was, I thought maybe I was being punked, but I knew how he was and I thought this is just batshit crazy. I’m sitting there, like, my jaw is dropping. Is this happening? What is this guy saying?

“It was just surreal,” he said.

Young, whose audio had not been working for most of the call, said he had to leave early to attend another meeting. He said he later wrote to the Minneapolis gym owner to apologize for not being able to defend them on the call.

“It was beyond awkward,” he said. “The way I would describe it, I was privy to information from a private conversation that the world should know about. This guy has a couple thousand of these CrossFit affiliates, and he’s the figurehead, and he’s speaking like a lunatic at a time when things like COVID-19 and George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, are basically already causing unrest. And the things he’s saying are unsubstantiated conspiracy theories — inflammatory nonsense, really.”

Young said he went to bed on Saturday night with the conversation weighing on him. When he woke up on Sunday, he decided to take a stand and publicly announce he would no longer work with CrossFit. He prepared a post on Medium, but Glassman had already written his “FLOYD-19” tweet. But because Young did not record the call, he said, he tried to not go into specific details in his Medium post about what Glassman said in order to avoid a potential lawsuit.

“The tweet is bad. It’s insensitive,” he said. “But as someone who listened to the call, you know the tweet is nothing compared to the phone call.”

Near the end of the call, when a gym owner suggested they were considering dropping their affiliation with CrossFit, another CrossFit headquarters staff member spoke to defend Glassman. “You’re not even approaching this with any compassion. You’re approaching this strictly with your agenda,” they told the gym owner. “Do you know how many Black people are going to be saved by CrossFit?”

CrossFit’s days of backlash started when Alyssa Royse, an affiliate owner from Seattle, posted an email that she received from Glassman in response to a letter she wrote detailing why her gym would be leaving the brand.

“You’re doing your best to brand us as racist and you know it’s bullshit,” Glassman wrote back. “That makes you a really shitty person. Do you understand that? You’ve let your politics warp you into something that strikes me as wrong to the point of being evil. I am ashamed of you.”

Glassman went further on the call with affiliates that did not include Royse, saying that her letter had “all of the class, all of the moral value of putting a sign in someone’s yard that says ‘known pedophile.’”

“It’s a horrible fucking thing to do to someone, to call them a racist when there’s no evidence, when there’s not one scintilla of evidence to suggest anything like that, and that’s what she did to me. And what I sent her back was a ‘Fuck off!’” Glassman told the members of the Zoom call. “You call me a racist and I’mma tell you, ‘Fuck you!’ You tell me to spin around twice or I’m a racist and I’ll go, ‘Fuck you!’ We can get to ‘fuck you’ a bunch of ways. What it leads me to believe is that this isn’t about race.”

A Proactive Approach to Abusive Policing

Departments need leeway to investigate and act on civilian complaints and target frequent offenders.

An ugly and sadly familiar cycle is playing out across the nation this week: A black man dies at the hands of a police officer. Recordings of the tragedy go viral. Neighborhoods burn.

The officers involved in George Floyd’s killing were swiftly fired, though that decision may still be reversed after an arbitration process. But cities need the authority to identify problematic officers and intervene before a tragedy occurs. Police get to use force—including deadly force—under circumstances in which private citizens cannot. They also typically have a mountain of statutory and contractual protections surrounding their employment and discipline. Foremost among these are limitations on how civilian complaints of misconduct can be investigated and used in managing the police force.

In a peer-reviewed academic paper examining civilian complaints against the police in Chicago, we identify officers who, after accounting for experience and assignment history, receive excessive complaints. We find that officers with the most complaints—the worst 5% in particular—are far more likely than other officers to have large civil judgments leveled against them later in their careers. They are also more likely to be cited for dereliction of duty and off-duty misconduct. We estimate that in Chicago the worst 5% of officers account for a third of all civilian complaints. In short, such officers are likely to be bad apples.

Because civilian complaints are meaningful predictors of serious misconduct, they can be combined with other metrics—such as civil-rights lawsuits, supervisor complaints and serious off-duty misconduct—to get problematic officers off the streets or into retraining. Examples of avoidable tragedies abound. Jason van Dyke, the Chicago police officer who was recorded shooting the unarmed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014, was in the worst 3% of Chicago officers for civilian complaints before the shooting occurred. Derek Chauvin, the police officer filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, was among the worst 10% of Minneapolis officers for civilian complaints, according to our rough calculations.

Unfortunately, Chicago, Minneapolis and many other cities don’t take civilian complaints as seriously as they should. State laws and union contracts often prohibit leaders from making use of complaints unless they’re “sustained”—found to have merit by an investigator—after a long and highly regulated investigation. Moreover, even for the rare civilian complaint that is sustained, any major disciplinary consequences are typically subject to lengthy arbitration or appeals.

In Chicago, we calculate that around 2% of civilian complaints are sustained. The majority of sustained allegations result in a one-day suspension or less. Minneapolis follows the same pattern, with around 1% of civilian complaints resulting in discipline.

Further, jurisdictions often place barriers that make it difficult to file a complaint in the first place. Illinois law requires complaints to be dismissed unless supported by a sworn statement, and a 2016 investigation in Minneapolis found that citizens were frequently turned away from police precincts or otherwise discouraged when trying to file complaints. How much of Mr. Chauvin’s misconduct went unreported due to the barriers to reporting and investigation? Could a more open and effective monitoring system have more clearly identified Mr. Chauvin as a problem before Floyd’s killing?

States can stop this ugly dynamic by changing laws and taking on police unions. Legislatures must give police departments greater latitude to investigate civilian complaints and use them in personnel decisions. If departments had the authority to identify problematic officers and intervene before a tragedy occurs, mayors and police chiefs would face greater democratic accountability for police misconduct. The killing of George Floyd and its aftermath should force policy makers and the public to reconsider whether it’s a good idea to combine police powers with a system of limited oversight and discipline. In our view, it isn’t.

Mr. Rozema is an associate professor at Washington University School of Law. Mr. Schanzenbach is a professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Donald Trump: ‘MAGA loves the black people’ responding to race protests

President Trump said the military were ready and willing to step up in Minneapolis as protests continue, and pointed the finger at Antifa and ‘left-wing activists’ for violence and looting.

Referring to his Make America Great Again fans, the US President proclaimed they ‘love black people’ when questioned about protests following the death of George Floyd.