Federal Judge – “Black Lives Matter”

16 Aug

Gaining traction against the intractable…


Federal Judge Declares “Black Lives Matter” From the Bench

U.S. District Judge James Robart held a dramatic hearing on Monday that began with a fierce rebuke of the Seattle police union’s refusal to address unconstitutional policing and closed with a declaration from the bench that “black lives matter.” Robart’s comment marks the first time a sitting federal judge has explicitly cited the nascent civil rights movement, though Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor hasechoed its calls to end police brutality and validated the demands for police reform.

Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, is presiding over a consent decree—a court-ordered settlement—between the Justice Department and Seattle reached in 2012. That agreement required the city to remedy unconstitutional practices at nearly every level of policing, from illegal stops to unreasonable and deadly use of force. Since then, Seattle’s chief of police Kathleen O’Toole has pushed the police force to adopt innovative and successful trainings on crisis intervention and bias-free policing. But further reforms are necessary to fulfill the consent decree’s requirements—and the police union has tethered its adoption of these reforms to pay raises and benefit increases.

In order to fulfill its legal obligation, Seattle attempted to reach a compromise with the police union this summer, offering a new contract that mixed the requisite reforms with wage hikes. The union overwhelmingly rejected the contract on the grounds that it did not sufficiently reward officers with more money and benefits in exchange for engaging in constitutional policing. According to the Seattle Times, it was this repudiation that pushed Robart to speak out so forcefully. In particular, the union appears resistant to adopt new standards and procedures regarding officer discipline and internal investigations, which Robart insists are vital to any sufficient reform.

“The court and the citizens of Seattle will not be held hostage for increased payments and benefits,” Robart said during Monday’s hearing. “I’m sure the entire city of Seattle would march behind me.”

After scolding the recalcitrant union, Robart noted that, nationwide, blacks represent 41 percent of police shooting victims—but only 20 percent of the overall population. He then said from the bench: “Black lives matter.” The remark drew an audible reaction from the audience.


Posted by on August 16, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter


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7 responses to “Federal Judge – “Black Lives Matter”

  1. harfobama

    August 16, 2016 at 11:12 PM

  2. Leyland7659

    August 17, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    BLM is a disciplined, inclusive grassroots movement achieving goals one step at a time, peacefully. The judge’s comments as to the police union befits the union’s extortionist behaviour. They cannot get it in their heads that this is a moral issue and public relations necessary. Nothing to be negotiated here!


    • btx3

      August 18, 2016 at 10:45 AM

      Not sure about the “disciplined” part. The core group seems strategically focused and well organized, but the hundreds, if not thousands of Campus and local groups which have set up local organizations adopting the BLM Banner are an entirely different issue.The problem being if one of the Campus Groups speaks it is interpreted by the MSM to be a core objective.

      BLM is moving the dime on Public Opinion, although most of that is happening because of the undeniable video evidence, courtesy of cell phones. The murders of unarmed black men, women, and children by Cop didn’t just start 3 years ago. As did not racial policing.


      • Leyland7659

        August 18, 2016 at 12:09 PM

        I used disciplined in terms of sensible organising and conduct. That others have hitched their wagons to the movement is clear. That sooner or later an agent provocateur will do an act of violence and blame it on BLM is at acceptable risk. I say acceptable because the stage is already set for that. It is not happenstance that sheriff Clarke, Fox News and talking heads repeatedly refer to BLM as terrorist and vile scum.

        Occupy Wall Street failed, in part , because they could not expand. BLM has gone international, growing coalitions with many groups. It’s harder to suffocate many.

        Lastly, I think that you are aware of a petition to congress to deem BLM a terrorist organisation. The goal was 100,000 signatures. In just a couple of days it went to 239,000. The opposition aren’t playing.


      • btx3

        August 18, 2016 at 2:37 PM

        The blowback from the Republican’t clowns in Congress declaring BLM a “terrorist” organization would be severe. It could just spawn splinter groups who teach these morons just what it is like to live in Israel.

        The right has already manufactured any number of incidents and blamed them on BLM. Any person of color with a grudge, who is a few Cheerios short of a full box, aka the nutcase in Dallas – is BLM inspired in their view. As I have said before, whomever the right wing hate machine pushes that way, I would hope they have the sense to go after the sources of the problem and not the symptom. As morally and mentally bankrupt as a blow-monkey like Clarke is – he is just a race prostitute who will crawl back under his rock when the money dries up.

        BLM’s organizational structure is designed to be resilient and difficult to destroy. Its like weeds in that any effort against one of the organizations resulting in shutting it down just means another will take its place unlike Acorn. Because no one person is “the leader” – the right wing neo-confederates and neo-nazis have no one to assassinate in an effort to decapitate the leadership. The Faux News propaganda outlet also has no one to demonize, and thus is stuck with trying to paint a very amorphous organization with a color that won’t stick.

        I think Occupy failed because after their “occupations” – they couldn’t figure out a second act. Their platform was too narrow.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. black

    September 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    You are so awesome! I don’t think I have read a single thing like this before.
    So good to discover somebody with a few original thoughts on this topic.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site
    is something that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!


    • btx3

      September 1, 2016 at 2:19 PM

      Thank You!



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