We have previously discussed the myriad of issues with consent decrees imposed by the Department of Justice and Dr. Travis Yates recently discussed his concerns with the ongoing investigation into the Phoenix Police Department. A quick look at the current state of affairs in Phoenix should have that community extremely concerned that, not only will the city not defend the good men and women of the Phoenix Police Department, but that the decision to agree to federal oversight has all but been finalized.
We have said it before, and we are saying it again. Nothing good ever occurs after a consent decree is imposed on a community and a brief look at New Orleans, Portland, and Seattle is just about all you need to know.
More troubling is the fact that the DOJ cannot force any local agency into a consent decree and for the last 30 years we have watched while cities simply agree to permit federal oversight to destroy their police department and community.
Phoenix is up next and as the investigation winds down, we were hopeful that they would hold the DOJ accountable to the findings rather than simply say yes to hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few decades.
We have our suspicions.
The first suspicion is the selection of Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan on an interim basis. Sullivan is highly credentialed and certainly capable of leading the Phoenix Police Department but his previous job was with the Baltimore Police Department and while you would never vacation to what has become one of the most violent cities on the planet, Baltimore also happens to be under a consent decree.
Maybe Sullivan was a great hire because he was aware of the shenanigans that the DOJ can play as they convince cities to destroy themselves but the previous hire of Attorney Michael Bromwich to consult the agency was a wild turn of events.
Bromwich, who resides in the Washington D.C. area, was given a one-million-dollar contract to phone in his advice from Washington D.C.
He doesn’t exactly look like a neutral choice to help the community.
Bromwich, told The Guardian a week ago that republicans were “unquestioning puppets” while lamenting that republicans had historically advocated for states’ rights, including local officials having autonomy away from the federal government.
While we assume that Bromwich recognizes that the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution is not a republican issue but an American issue, it is hard to not read his recent comments and combine them with his past employment with the DOJ and as an independent monitor for the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
Our suspicions grew to almost certainty this week when the city of Phoenix posted a Department of Justice Policy Writer position for hire.
We aren’t sure what is happening in Phoenix but the DOJ has not even completed an investigation and it appears that officials within the city are simply assuming that they will be under a DOJ Consent Decree?
Given the extreme damage that the last 30 years has shown anyone paying attention, it is hard to fathom that anyone in the city would simply default to a voluntary consent decree.
As a reminder to Mr. Bromwich, the 10th Amendment ensures that the city of Phoenix doesn’t have to turn over their police department to the DOJ.
There is another option.
The Phoenix Police Department can continue reforming into the future as they have been doing and we assume that Chief Sullivan is capable of doing just that.
Once the DOJ presents their findings, history tells us that they will be inaccurate, and out of context while utilizing faulty methodology. Phoenix can simply say no and if the DOJ sues for compliance, the evidence must be proven.
The DOJ has never successfully been able to actually prove what they say in consent decrees and considering millions of dollars and the safety of the citizens are at stake, it would certainly be worth asking for actual proof.
For the sake of the Phoenix Police Department and the citizens they serve, we hope that what we are seeing is not what it appears.
Phoenix is a great city and everyone there deserves a chance to keep it that way.