Trump Administration Suddenly Gets Interested in Civil Rights

California’s attorney general decided this week not to file charges against two Sacramento police officers who killed Stephon Clark last year. Today the Trump administration announced that they would review the case for possible civil rights violations:

Federal authorities announced Tuesday they will conduct a civil rights review of the police shooting of an unarmed black man in California’s capital last March, a killing that triggered a year of racial upheaval in Sacramento and has become the focus of legislation to curb the use of deadly force.

U.S. Atty. McGregor Scott and Sean Ragan, who heads the FBI’s Sacramento office, said the federal probe would examine “results of the state and local investigations,” and will determine whether the slaying of Clark, 22, violated his federal civil rights. A U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on why the Clark case warranted further examination, saying only that the review was “standard practice.”

Normally, I’d say this was a good thing and then move on. But I’m a suspicious person, and my first thought was that this actually seemed fairly non-standard for the Trump administration. Then, by chance, I came across a Vice article today that showed just how non-standard it was:

The Trump administration sure doesn’t seem very interested in civil rights violations, does it? So why the interest in Stephon Clark? Is it because his shooting happened in California and Trump is interested in stirring up racial controversy in California?

I don’t know. I’m just asking questions here, OK?

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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