After numerous reports and lawsuits in Portland regarding un-badged and un-uniformed federal officers arresting, beating, and detaining people in unmarked vehicles, the Trump administration’s response is that they’re going to do it even more, and in more cities. Saying that his federal agents are doing a “fantastic job,” Trump has suggested that he will also deploy agents in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Milwaukee to do the same.
In one of those cities, the city prosecutor has already preemptively warned Trump’s police forces what he will do if they bring the same tactics to Philadelphia:
“My dad volunteered and served in World War II to fight fascism, like most of my uncles, so we would not have an American president brutalizing and kidnapping Americans for exercising their constitutional rights and trying to make America a better place, which is what patriots do,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner in a statement. “Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges from my office.”
Trump claims the federal intervention is needed due to excessive violence, particularly around federal statues and monuments. But legal experts have said the reported federal actions in Portland far exceed legal boundaries.
“[T]he use of a secret federal paramilitary force in Portland (and soon Chicago and likely other cities) is every bit the abuse of power that it appears to be,” legal scholar Elizabeth Goitein, of the Brennan Center for Justice, wrote on Twitter, noting that Trump’s claim of protecting federal property is pure pretext for his intent to have federal agents do the work of local police.
Trump’s dare to deploy additional troops to more cities will test the mettle of reformist prosecutors like Krasner, who has aggressively pursued police reforms and taken steps to eliminate what he calls unethical and unconstitutional police practices that Trump has said he’d like to see more of.
A clash between local and federal law enforcement over how to manage protesters in Philadelphia — if it comes to that — would be unprecedented.
Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner Promised a Criminal Justice Revolution. He’s Exceeding Expectations.
WHEN LIFELONG CIVIL rights attorney Larry Krasner was elected in a landslide this past November to become the new district attorney of Philadelphia, to say that his fans and supporters had high hopes would be an understatement. Anything less than a complete revolution that tore down the bigoted and patently unfair systems of mass incarceration would be a severe disappointment.
.. In his first week on the job, he fired 31 prosecutors from the DA’s officebecause they weren’t committed to the changes he intended to make. “Change is never easy, but DA Krasner was given a clear mandate from the voters for transformational change,” his spokesperson said at the time. “Today’s actions are necessary to achieve that agenda.”
Next, Krasner obeyed a court order to release a list of 29 officers from the Philadelphia Police Department that were on a “do-not-call list” — meaning that they were so tainted that they would be considered unreliable as witnesses. The police officers on the list had either been charged with crimes or found responsible for misconduct in internal police probes conducted by the department’s Board of Inquiry. Among the offenses, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the police officers had lied to their fellow investigators, filed false reports, used excessive force, driven drunk, and burgled.
Thoughts on Will Wilkinson’s post on cities
it’s not really cities that are doing well, but certain kinds of cities, suburbs, and towns. It’s really the places with high levels of human capital. To understand the real pattern, read Enrico Moretti’s The New Geography of Jobs. The engineer-heavy suburbs of Fremont or Milpitas are doing great, as are college towns like Ann Arbor and Gainesville. Meanwhile, big cities like Baltimore and St. Louis are still stagnating and crime-ridden, while others such as Detroit and Cleveland have only just now started climbing up out of their Rust Belt doldrums. It’s not city vs. country, it’s innovation hubs vs. old-economy legacy towns.
.. Many American cities remain extremely segregated, especially between black residents and others. Chicago is a thriving, diverse, fun, relatively safe metropolis – unless you go to the poor black areas, in which case you’re in “Chiraq“.
.. the most segregated cities in America include places like Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Cleveland. Those are precisely the places that are having the most difficulty adapting to the new, innovation-based economy. And those tend to be the places where crime rates have rebounded to their early 1990s highs, or never really fell in the first place.
.. Either America succeeds as a polyracial nation, or it doesn’t succeed at all.