JANUARY 07, 2014
The nation’s largest police union is blasting President Obama for choosing an attorney who defended a cop murderer—and member of the radical Black Panthers—to head a key division at the Justice Department, the agency responsible for enforcing the law and defending the interests of the United States.
Obama’s nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Debo Adegbile, spent more than a decade in various leadership positions—including director—at the Legal Defense and Education Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). During Adegbile’s leadership the NAACP volunteered its services to represent Mumia Abu-Jamal, a member of the Black Panthers who murdered a police officer (Daniel Faulkner) in Philadelphia three decades ago.
Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death by the jury that convicted him in 1982 and his supporters—including the man who could soon be an Assistant Attorney General—have long claimed that he was the victim of a racist legal system. Nevertheless, Abu-Jamal has lost multiple appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court has twice rejected his case. In 2012, under the leadership of Adegbile, the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund represented Abu-Jamal in his latest appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The cop murderer lost that one too, but the fact remains that Adegbile continues fighting on his behalf.
Understandably, this is upsetting to hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers represented by the National Fraternal Order of Police. In a hard-hitting letter to President Obama, the group expresses “extreme disappointment, displeasure and vehement opposition” to Adegbile’s nomination. “As word of this nomination spreads through the law enforcement community, reactions range from anger to incredulity,” the letter says, reminding that there is no disputing that Officer Faulkner was murdered by the “thug” who Adegbile continues defending.
“This nomination can be interpreted in only one way: it is a thumb in the eye of our nation’s law enforcement officers,” the letter continues. “It demonstrates a total lack of regard or empathy for those who strive to keep you and everyone else in our nation safe in your homes and neighborhoods—sometimes giving their lives in the effort.” Adegbile will certainly exacerbate the growing division and distrust between law enforcement and minority communities, the FOP claims. The group ends by telling the commander-in-chief of its hope that candidates with records of “fairness and respect to all Americans” are considered for future leadership positions in the administration.
Don’t hold your breath. It’s really not all that surprising to see a radical candidate like Adegbile nominated for this particular job. Remember the last guy (now Labor Secretary Thomas Perez) Obama picked to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division? He is a renowned La Raza advocate who led the DOJ’s attack on Arizona’s illegal immigration enforcement law and state Voter ID measures nationwide. Perez was also heavily embroiled in a scandal involving the DOJ’s abrupt decision to abandon its own voter intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Judicial Watch uncovered documents that show Perez lied under oath to a commission investigating the Black Panther debacle.
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