The current relationship between the federal government and states is radically different than what the Constitution allows and what the Founding Fathers intended. As patriotic protesters continue to protest the unconstitutional claims by the federal government to own as much as 50, 60 or even 85% of the land which comprise Western states, the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) remains wholly unwilling to allow state or city governments to deal with matters internally.
After the shooting death of Michael Brown, a robber who reportedly attacked a police officer, the city of Ferguson, Missouri, was engulfed in racial strife. Rioters masquerading as protesters burned-down portions of the city and widespread looting and violence was rampant.
When the grand jury found no misconduct on the part of the officer, Darren Wilson, the town was once again engulfed in such lawlessness.
Other cities have followed suit and cities like Baltimore have even allowed such lawlessness to continue as a means of demonstrating the city’s supposed understanding of “tolerance.”
In order to avoid full-scale DOJ intervention in Ferguson, city officials crafted a policing reform policy to appease the federal government.
On Tuesday, however, the Ferguson City Council voted unanimously to amend the “consent decree” to avoid bankruptcy as the measures outlined in the appeasement document are cost-prohibitive.
The council approved seven cost-saving amendments to maintain economic viability. RT reports on the amendments:
Proposed by Wesley Bell, an African-American councilman elected last spring, the amendments reject pay increases for city employees (including police) and hiring more staff for the city jail; include provisions for local preference when hiring consultants, contractors and third parties, and add “project goals for minorities and women” within those arrangements; and caps the monitoring fee at $1 million over the first five years, not to exceed $250,000 annually.
Ferguson also wants to extend the deadlines in the original agreement, and ensure that the terms “will not apply to other governmental entities or agencies who, in the future, take over services now provided by the city,” according to the Associated Press.
“The Department of Justice must accept the seven amendments in order for the settlement agreement to be valid,” the city said in a statement.
“I don’t think there’s anything unreasonable” about the amendments, councilman Bell said on Tuesday night.
Ferguson’s accountants calculated that the cost to the city would be up to $3.7 million for the first year alone and between $1.8 and $3 million for each year afterward. At the meeting on Tuesday, critics of the settlement pointed out that the city’s budget is only $14.5 million and is already suffering from a $2.8 million deficit, largely due to legal fees, loss of tax revenue and paying police overtime during the protests.
In response to the amendments, however, the federal government has filed suit against the city for attempting to work within a budget- something the federal government has been unwilling to do for decades.
The DOJ claimed that the Ferguson police and the city government “engages in an ongoing pattern or practice of conduct, including discrimination, that deprives persons of rights, privileges and immunities secured and protected by” the U.S. Constitution.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Justice lashed-out at the new deal.
“The Ferguson City Council has attempted to unilaterally amend the negotiated agreement,” said Vanita Gupta, head of the DOJ Civil Rights Division. “Their vote to do so creates an unnecessary delay in the essential work to bring constitutional policing to the city, and marks an unfortunate outcome for concerned community members and Ferguson police officers.
Unwilling to accept the fiscal realities associated with the costs of mandated sensitivity training and increased bookkeeping to assess whether minorities are being disproportionately arrested, the NAACP has predictably weighed-in against Ferguson.
“We reject this argument out of hand as an affront to democracy,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The Ferguson City Council must approve the proposed consent decree and work diligently and immediately to acquire the necessary funds to protect the lives and civil rights of all its residents, regardless of race.”
However, many residents of the small St. Louis suburb remain on the side of the city.
“I would rather lose our city by fighting for it in court than lose it by giving in to the DOJ’s crushing demands,” said Susan Ankenbrand, a resident for 41 years, who spoke at the City Council meeting in support of the amendments.
There are few issues that involve the left’s perception of social justice in which the federal government does not get involved. From wedding cakes to city business, the federal government insists that they hold a duty to interfere to promote their agenda wherever it may be threatened.
However, while the federal government has tacitly encouraged continued lawlessness by applying significant pressure to state and city governments to limit their responses to looting and rioting in places like Ferguson and Baltimore, the same federal government insisted that a heavy, militant approach was needed in dealing with the armed conservative protesters in Oregon who had not demonstrated any acts of violence.