Tuesday, May 5, 2015

DOH REPORT: Al Sharpton Wants to Federalize the Police

 If you have not already been convinced the ideas that people like Sharpton come up with are so totally not thought all the way through: This should be a clincher. Anyone who could even imply that the Federal government would offer anything with more accountability has not done a very good job of checking out just how accountable most government run programs are.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds writes:

  • In the wake of the Baltimore riots, Al Sharpton is calling for the federal takeover of local police. Like most ideas from the loathsome Rev. Sharpton, this is a lousy one. But since federalizing local police is actually an Obama administration idea, it's worth paying a bit more attention.
  • The idea behind federal supervision of local police forces is that it will make them more accountable. Instead of a bunch of presumptively racist, violent hicks running things on a local level, we'll see the cool professionalism of the national government in charge.
  • There are (at least) two problems with this approach. The first is that federal law enforcement, especially in recent years, hasn't exactly been a haven of cool professionalism. The second is that no law enforcement agency is very good at policing itself, meaning that a national police force is likely to be less accountable, not more. And there's a third problem, too, but we'll get to that in a minute.