Jim Scanlan describes the compliance nightmare that looms for the Baltimore Police Department as a result of the consent decree the City reached with the Justice Department. The events that led to the decree are well known.
It stemmed from the death of Freddy Gray through injuries sustained in police custody. There was no convincing evidence that the police did much wrong, and prosecutors were unable to convict any of the officers involved.
However, the Justice Department investigated the Department’s practices to determine whether they are unfair to African-Americans. It found that they are, but its report is too flawed to be taken seriously, as Heather Mac Donald has shown and we have discussed.
Let’s assume, though, that the Baltimore police department is systemically unfair to African-Americans. How would that finding justify the following directive in the consent decree (at page 31) that Jim Scanlan pointed out to me:
Ensure that BPD officers address and in documentation refer to all members of the public, including LGBT individuals, using the names, pronouns, and titles of respect appropriate to the individual’s gender identity as expressed or clarified by the individual. Proof of the person’s gender identity, such as an identification card, will not be required.
It wouldn’t. The federal government has simply taken upon itself, in the name of political correctness, to tell Baltimore police officers what pronouns to use in talking to criminals, suspects, witnesses, and the public generally. And if a male crook insists on being addressed as “Miss,” or (perhaps) “Your Highness,” and an officer doesn’t comply, the department will be in violation of the consent decree.
This is egregious federal overreach. Surely, it is hard enough to police the mean streets of Baltimore, which have become considerably meaner as a result of the left’s attacks on the department, without having to worry about the gender identity of the folks officers encounter.
And what about the gender identity treatment those who have been arrested and convicted. As Jim suggests, if you can chose your bathroom, there seems no reason why you cannot chose whether to be incarcerated among men or among women.
The madness should be nipped in the bud. The Trump administration needs promptly to pick a head of DOJ’s civil rights division who will, insofar as possible, get the federal government out of the business of policing local police departments and stop the obsession with gender identity.