In news that would shock only an alien who just landed in the United States on his way to Pluto and was unfamiliar with the legacy of fuckboy shit that the Trump administration has pulled, the Department of Justice, headed by Jeff “King Keebler” Sessions, has pursued fewer civil rights cases than previous administrations.
According to Vice News, not only has the Civil Rights Division hit a 17-year low in activity—one department tasked with handling police misconduct throughout the nation has become completely inactive.
Former DOJ officials and civil rights experts told Vice News how annoyed they’ve become with the lack of activity and the potential consequences of it.
“There’s a level of activism and inconsistency with core rule-of-law principles that I see from DOJ and across the administration that I worry will take us back to a dangerous prior point in our history where people like me—black people, women—find themselves without protection from the government,” Catherine Lhamon, chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent federal watchdog agency, told Vice News.
Here’s how Vice News explains the DOJ’s approach to departmental laziness:
In the year since Donald Trump took office, six civil rights sections Vice News tracked have sent an average of about two letters opening cases per month. That’s the lowest monthly average for any yearlong period since at least 2000; under President Obama, the same sections together averaged more than a half-dozen cases a month.
Cases begin when the Justice Department starts investigating whether a person or organization violated the law. Following the investigation, DOJ attorneys send a letter or complaint detailing the allegations against them and their findings. For example, after Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore police custody in 2015, the division initiated an investigation into the department, which resulted in a findings letter the next year.
Another way to measure the Justice Department’s civil rights enforcement activity is to look at legal agreements reached with people, companies, and organizations accused of discrimination. These agreements are one of the most common ways a case ends, and they typically come with fines or concessions. In Baltimore, the Justice Department imposed a court-monitored consent decree that listed goals for the police to meet before it could be lifted.
Under Trump, the division has reached about six of these kinds of agreements per month, on average, the fewest since at least 2000.
In 2017 the Justice Department announced that it would be reviewing 2017’s white supremacist violence and protests in Charlottesville, Va., but provided little information about where the investigation is now. Good money is on the Department of Justice finding that there are good people on both sides and that the tiki-torch-wielding white supremacists are really misunderstood, good kids just finding their way.
Vice News notes that a spokesman for the DOJ refused to provide the number of active investigations being pursued by the department.
“There’s no reason not to say,” Lhamon told Vice News. “What are they hiding?”
Well, for one, Sessions has yet to explain how, after all of these years, he and several of his workers have been able to make delicious cookies in a fucking tree, so there is that. It should shock no one that this administration is less concerned with the treatment of minorities, immigration rights or employment litigation—all areas handled by the DOJ. The Trump administration has made one thing clear since taking office: Their main objective is to protect the 1 percent, and if you fall outside of that tax bracket, good luck.