DeRay Mckesson of the group Campaign Zero wants President-elect Joe Biden to put the Justice Department back in the business of investigating and suing police departments for patterns of civil rights abuses. Mckesson says the feds shouldn’t just go after the departments where there have been high-profile incidents, NPR reports. He says federal officials should “intervene in the top 10 percent of police departments that kill people.” More systematic investigations may rekindle the us-versus-them tension between the federal government and local police that we saw during the Obama years. Rafael Mangual of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research says, “If there ever was a time in which we’d see the federal government … go further down the road of positioning itself as an opponent of state and local police departments, I think now is probably that time.”
President Jim Black of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police says police morale is low: “I think you turn on the TV every day, and there’s something negative about our profession. We’re being stigmatized and labeled as racists or killers or that we don’t care about the people in our communities.” Black says police should be involved more in the reform process. Laurie Robinson of George Mason University, who co-chaired the policing task force under President Barack Obama, she says that’s what Biden has in mind. Even though Biden’s relationship with the police unions is frayed, she has hope, saying, “If anyone has the ability to bring everyone together on these policing issues, it is Joe Biden.” There’s little sign of that process. The unions have yet to acknowledge Biden’s victory. That’s because they’re still hesitant to appear disloyal to President Donald Trump.