Prosecutor Quits Trump Police Panel, Cites Race Issues

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One of four prosecutors on President Donald Trump’s law enforcement commission has resigned after expressing “serious” concerns that the intention of the commission was not to bridge the gap between communities of color and law enforcement, CNN reports. Ramsey County, Mn., District Attorney John Choi, a Democrat, expressed concerns about the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice to Attorney General William Barr on September 3. Choi said, “it is now patently obvious … that this process had no intention of engaging in a thoughtful and open analysis, but was intent on providing cover for a predetermined agenda that ignores the lessons of the past, furthering failed tough-on-crime policies that led to our current mass incarceration crisis and fueling divisions between our communities and our police officers.”

On May 29 Choi and Wyandotte County, Ks., District Attorney Mark Dupree wrote to the commission after hearing concerns raised by outside organizations about the  “Commission’s process, inclusiveness and transparency, and whether the Commission’s processes conform to applicable federal law.” The prosecutors urged making the “working groups” of the 15 other members, specifically the “Respect for Law Enforcement” group, available to all members. Four months later, the recommendations have not been addressed, and Choi quit. He took issue with the commission’s inviting Philadelphia U.S. Attorney William McSwain to testify after he said that “so-called progressive prosecutors have … little regard for the public safety,” and as a result,”[c]riminals bank on the fact that certain progressive policies … give them … breathing room to ply their trade.” Choi said, “I have little confidence that the concerns and perspectives of those who are peacefully taking to the streets right now, who have been advocating that over-policing disproportionately impacts people of color and those in under-resourced communities, are included in the Commission’s recommendations.”

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