SOULVINE UNCHAINED-Damn! --- Atty. Gen. Eric Holder resigned just when he put the needs and concerns of the country’s African Americans on the Justice Department’s front burners. During his five years in office, Holder, the first black attorney general, has been the people’s greatest ally in the fight for justice, civil rights, equal rights and voting rights in the history of the United States.
Holder, 63, has been applauded by civil and equal rights activists throughout the country as being the most effective attorney general of the 82 the U.S. has had throughout its history.
Holder announced his intentions of resigning just days after announcing Department of Justice initiatives to launch federal probes into the growing number of law enforcement shootings of unarmed black men throughout the country and the reduction of tension between local police and minority communities.
Also seemingly left in the lurch is the DOJ monitoring of congressional and statewide elections that are scheduled since the Supreme Court threw out a major protection in the Voting Rights Act, as well as his personal project of reducing racial profiling in federal investigations. Holder has still not ruled on possible federal charges against the white men who killed black teenagers Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
With this much laudable work still to be done, the question is: “Why is Holder leaving?” The answer is: “So he can do it.” Rep. Karen Bass, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, explained it to the Soulvine thusly: “He’s not going anywhere.”
Bass explained: “The level of disrespect Holder receives from Congress is sickening. Every encounter he has with Congress results in an all-out brawl. And it’s not one-sided either because Holder punches back. He gives as much as he gets. He is the only cabinet member in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress. (In 2012 for refusing to hand over documents to the Republicans in the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking scandal). His vicious encounters with Congress have gotten to him and he says they are too much for him to put up with. So, he tendered his resignation, to become effective when his successor has been confirmed.”
Bass continued: “If he leaves now, and the president picks a successor to his liking, the present Congress will confirm him or her. Congress will confirm only a new attorney general of its liking --- someone completely different in attitude and orientation than Holder and someone less likely to pursue Holder’s justice agenda.
If President Obama does not nominate a replacement for Holder, then Congress has no one to confirm ---or reject. But if Holder stays on the job, he can continue to work his program in a less stressful atmosphere because the Congress will have to stop attacking everything he does and demanding he be fired because he has already resigned, and is perfectly willing to go as soon as Congress confirms his replacement! I love it!
As long as Obama remains in office, he will never get an attorney general other than Holder and the two of them will go out together --- like they came in.” After that, it’s Hilary Clinton’s problem.
The AP reported that Holder told the Congressional Black Caucus during its legislative conference last week that he plans to keep on pushing voting rights and civil rights protections while still in office. “I have no intention of letting up or slowing down,” he promised.
TAXPAYER JUSTICE --- The California Highway Patrol agreed to pay $1.5 million of taxpayers‘ money to settle the lawsuit brought by attorney Caree Harper (photo right) in behalf of Marlene Pinnock, the 51-year-old grandmother, who was savagely beaten on the side of the 10 Freeway on July 1 by CHP officer Daniel Andrew. The CHP was quick to pay up for Andrew’s beating --- which the nation saw in a video shot by a passing motorist --- while District Attorney Jackie Lacey has yet to decide whether Andrew will be charged with a crime. Last month, the CHP announced Andrew had been stripped of his duties and could face “potentially serious charges.” But Lacey doesn’t know yet.
Atty. Harper is a “shero” when it comes to obtaining financial renumeration for the crimes committed by law enforcement, while the county’s prosecutor persists in excusing them. Harper sued and won more than a million dollars from the city of Pasadena after two Pasadena police officers shot and killed black unarmed 19-year-old Kendrec McDade in 2012, whose cop-killing was ruled “justified” by Lacey, but she doesn’t even want to talk about the possible fate of the two LAPD cops who killed mentally-challenged Ezell Ford last month. I just learned the police have refused to release the autopsy report on Ford’s death. And I’ve been told that cops do that when they’re hiding something. Looks like Atty. Harper will get another case and we taxpayers will get another bill.
Which brings me to this: I received a flier the other day announcing that the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute will bestow “Women in Action Awards” to five local black women. I never heard of three of them, but I know Capri Maddox, Kerman’s wife, and I’m certain the four deserve the honor. But we are all well aware of the fifth one they plan to honor: “Jacquelyn” Lacey, our district attorney! Oh, shut up!!! That’s a despicable choice and you know it! Lacey should be honored by nobody but cops, sheriff’s deputies, highway patrolmen and the like because they are her people---not us. Atty. Caree Harper should be honored as a righteous black woman by everybody because she deserves it for putting people’s lives together after Lacey has helped tear them asunder. Women in Action, my foot.
IT’S A LIE --- As the result of the nasty debacle involving actress Daniele Watts, who was arrested by the police for having sex in public, the Los Angeles Police Department would have us, the people believe that cops can arrest you for refusing to identify yourself. Well, retired Judge Roosevelt Dorn, the executive director of the Southern California ACLU, the California Appellate Court, and the United States Supreme Court say the cops are lying. Hector Villagra, head of the ACLU, wrote to Soulvine advising of the ACLU’s concern over the issues involving Watts. “Audio recorded at the scene indicates the officer repeatedly told Ms. Watts that he had the right to detain her for refusing to provide identification. That is simply wrong,” Villagra wrote. “In California, police cannot arrest someone for refusing to provide identification. If you don’t want to provide identification, you can politely say you do not want to do so and ask if you are free to go,” he said.
Judge Dorn disputes the LAPD’s contention that “Hibel v. Sixth Judicial District,” etc. gives a police officer the right to request identification. “Hibel says a police officer has a right to request identification during a valid detention, not whenever he feels like it. If the person is suspected of having done something wrong and is subject to police detention, then he can be asked to identify himself.” Dorn said.
“California has no ‘stop and identify’ law and therefore, in the words of the Supreme Court, it has not created a legal obligation requiring a suspect to answer questions, and you cannot be arrested for failing to provide identification to a officer,” Villagra wrote.
So, instead of shooting his mouth off about his “cop rights for ID,” the LAPD officer should have just arrested Watts and her sex partner for their reported indecent exposure, then asked for their ID, noted it and taken them to jail --- thus executing the required valid detention Hibel and Dorn said was required. Then the nasty woman wouldn’t have been crying racism and embarrassing us. This should not have been an issue about ID; it should have been about indecency resulting in arrest.
(Betty Pleasant, a longtime LA observer, columnist and urban voice, writes Soulvine and is a contributor to CityWatch.)
Vol 12 Issue 80
Pub: Oct 3, 2014