A couple of days ago Trump claimed that he would sign an executive order which will “reform law enforcement policies” today.
This is what he told reporters on Monday.
“Basically, we’re going to be talking about things that we’ve been watching and seeing for the last month, and we’re going to have some solutions, some good solutions,” Trump said without providing further details.
After George Floyd was murdered on May 25th and worldwide protests began, Trump has verbally attacked the protesters, and on June 1st, he physically attacked hundreds of men and women in Lafayette Park. He doesn’t appear to be serious about forcing law enforcement to change its abusive and dangerous actions, especially against black Americans.
The policy which allows law enforcement to literally do anything without fear of punishment began 53 years ago. The U.S. Supreme Court first introduced the ”qualified immunity” doctrine in 1967, originally with the rationale of protecting law enforcement officials from frivolous lawsuits and financial liability in cases where they acted in good faith in unclear legal situations. This policy has been expanded over the last five+ decades.
On Monday the Supreme Court refused to reexamine this doctrine. To me, a man who is a writer, not a lawyer, allowing law enforcement privileges not afforded their victims is a violation of the 14th amendment which guarantees “equal protection under the law.” The only job, by definition, of the Supreme Court is to decide if issues, laws, and policies are supported by the Constitution or not. Qualified immunity is central to the demands of millions of protesters.
Because of this doctrine, unions representing law enforcement have been able to negotiate contracts which further protect their members. For nearly 74 years I have always believed that the Constitution protects all Americans, and that most laws created by politicians violate the human rights and Constitutional rights of the average man, woman, and child. If the SCOTUS does not protect us, who will?
Finally, I don’t know if Trump will sign an executive order today, he often breaks his promises, but if he does I doubt that it will be sufficient to please most of the protesters. Trump is a white supremacist and has no interest in the serious issues which face black Americans in their daily lives. I am certain that it will have no mention of the fact that income inequality is at the core of the despair felt by most black Americans, and it will fail to address racism in America. All Republicans and their propaganda machine continue to claim that race is not a big problem in our nation. Vote for real change in November.
Op-ed by James Turnage
My eight novels are available on Amazon’s free Kindle app