Fascist Bill Green-Lights Police Terror—This Must Be Defeated!

May 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


For decades, under both Democrats and Republicans, America’s police have profiled, harassed, beaten, tortured, and murdered millions of people, especially Black, Latino, and Native American people. In recent years, there has been an upsurge in protest against this terror carried out by the officially sanctioned murderers in blue, from Ferguson to many other cities big and small across the country. And there has been other righteous resistance, like the thousands fighting against the Dakota Access oil pipeline and in defense of Native Peoples’ rights and in defiance of repression by heavily armed law enforcement, and the millions who have come into the streets in the Women’s March and other protests against Trump.

In the face of this, the Trump/Pence regime from the beginning has made clear its fascist determination to “restore law and order”—to give a full green light to the pigs in blue and an escalation of police brutality and murder to a whole new level. Trump, Pence, and the rest of the regime have been turning reality upside down by accusing people protesting murder by police of fomenting violence, and they have all but openly threatened to criminalize those who condemn, or even criticize, the police or refuse to cooperate with them. And now, the regime’s Republican forces in the Senate and House have introduced a toxic bill called “Back the Blue Act of 2017” that aims to dramatically increase police powers.

Revcom.us will continue to cover this, but here are some key things about this bill:

The Trump/Pence regime would be empowered to override local prosecutors who the regime deems not aggressive or draconian enough in going after opponents of the police, including victims of and protesters against police brutality, and other protesters against the regime and the whole system. The bill would create new federal crimes for assaulting or killing a state or local cop. This applies to any law enforcement agency receiving federal aid—and since almost all police agencies receive some federal funding, the bill would cover nearly all local cops. What this means, for example, is that federal prosecutors under the Trump/Pence regime could step in and take over local cases to charge a victim of police brutality with a serious federal crime that carries possible years in prison. This would not be difficult to do, since it’s already the case that people who are brutalized by police, including while protesting police violence as well as in other kinds of protests, are often falsely arrested and charged with “assaulting” the pig who beat them.

Victims of police brutality and families of people murdered by police would find it almost impossible to file civil suits against cops. Cops who murder innocent people—even if the victim is unarmed and the murder is on video—almost never get charged with any crime, let alone get convicted. A few police brutality victims and their families have been able to win lawsuits against police and win monetary damages. Under the new bill, even if cops clearly violated laws in the course of brutalizing or murdering a victim, they are only liable for expenses like funeral costs if they can show they were acting because the victim, “more likely than not,” had been involved in some crime. For instance, if the police break into someone’s home, supposedly on a drug warrant, and shoot someone dead, the victim’s family may not be able to sue even if they can show that the police acted unlawfully—because the police could claim that the victim sold pot or at one time possessed enough to warrant a felony charge. They don’t have to come up with solid legal evidence but merely say their allegations are “more likely than not” true.

Victims of police brutality could face more unjust trumped-up charges. In an effort to get people who are victims of police violence, including those who are beaten during protests, to not pursue any suits, the police could threaten them with federal felonies for bogus charges like “assault” on a cop while “resisting arrest.” A Washington Post blogger on legal issues noted: “Police and prosecutors are already accused of bringing unwarranted charges in abuse cases, then leveraging those charges—agreeing to drop them in exchange for a promise from the victim not to sue. Because the police would need to show only some connection to felony or violent acts by a preponderance of the evidence, merely filing a felony charge would likely dissuade most attorneys from taking a victim’s case.”

“Back the Blue” is part of the Trump/Pence regime’s move to consolidate fascism in government and society. Trump, Pence, Sessions, and the whole regime have made it clear they are out to further beef up police powers, including by sweeping away even token limits on and criticism of vicious, murderous pigs. The new bill aims to take this to an even more intensely ominous, draconian, fascist level. And it goes hand in hand with a wave of bills and laws on the state level that are implementing or threatening harsh penalties against people protesting against police murder and terror, and fighting against other injustices of this system.

All these outrageous laws must be exposed, resisted... and defeated. Many, many people—all people of conscience and everyone who is agonizing over the state of the world and the planet—need to join together in this fight, as part of the urgent struggle to drive out the whole Trump/Pence fascist regime.



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