Someone finally asked Kristen Clarke, President Biden’s nominee for Assistant Attorney General of the civil rights division of the DOJ, an intelligent question, giving her an opportunity to provide an insightful response, letting us have a peak into what we can expect from her once she is confirmed. And it was none other than freshman Senator Jon Ossoff (who I personally believe could be President one day).
Sen. Ossoff asked, “…When the killing of citizens is extra-judicial, in my view that is an egregious form of violence and an act of tyranny. This week, yet again, the nation is grappling with the reality that, in particular, unarmed Black men are subjected to violence at the hands of the state. Another young Black man was shot to death by a law enforcement officer. How will you use the power of this office to end extra-judicial killings of American citizens by law enforcement?”
Clarke responded, “Thank you, Senator. The civil rights division has been empowered by Congress to investigate unconstitutional conduct by law enforcement, and we know that this is a real and ongoing challenge that we face. The division has the ability to open pattern and practice investigations into police departments…. There’s 18 USC 142, which is one tool that can be used to promote accountability when law enforcement officers use force without basis and in an unconstitutional way, but Attorney General Garland has talked about the other tools in the division’s arsenal and I agree that, in addition, we have to think about training, and technical assistance, and grant-making and other tools to promote improvements in this incredibly important area.”
Clarke is a single mother of a young Black son, and I have no doubt she will do everything within her power to make real change in law enforcement, as well as pursuing the unconstitutionality of the numerous, restrictive voting laws Republicans are enacting across this country, an area in which possesses great expertise.