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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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