President Barack Obama today introduced his plan for a progressive takeover of state and local policing.
“We have a great opportunity… to really transform how we think about community law enforcement relations,” he said Monday.
“We need to seize that opportunity… this is something that I’m going to stay very focused on in the months to come,” Obama said, as he touted a new interim report from his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Obama also instructed his media allies to help a federalization of policing, and to sideline critics of centralized policing rules. “I expect our friends in the media to really focus on what’s in this report and pay attention to it.”
Obama is using the crisis sparked by the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, who was killed after assaulting a shopkeeper and a policeman in Ferguson, Mo. Obama and his deputies stoked the subsequent controversy in the run-up to the 2014 election, in the hope of boosting African-American turnout. The mobilization effort failed, partly because local law-enforcement officials released a video showing Brown’s strong-arm robbery of a store shortly before the fatal shooting.
Now Obama is trying to expand progressive control by attaching more conditions to federal funding of state and local law-enforcement efforts. “We can expand the [federally-funded] COPS program… to see if we can get more incentives for local communities to apply some of the best practices and lessons that are embodied in this report,” he said.