By Columnist Jim Kouri
America’s largest police organization, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), sent a letter on Monday to President Barack Obama for nominating an attorney with a questionable background to become the head of an important Justice Department bureau, an “Inside the Beltway” watchdog group reported on Tuesday.
The person selected by Obama – Debo Adegbile – defended a member of the radical Black Panthers who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer execution-style. And yet Obama is pushing his nomination to head a key division at the Justice Department, the agency responsible for enforcing the law and defending the interests of the United States, according to Judicial Watch.
“Once again we are face-to-face with proof that this president is hell-bent on radicalizing the Justice Department. One need only read the press releases coming from Attorney General Eric Holder to see that his priority is prosecuting businessmen and corporations rather than organized crime, radical groups and terrorists,” said former police detective and director of corporate security Henry Melmann.
Obama’s nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the DOJ spent upwards of ten years in various leadership positions at the Legal Defense and Education Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
During Adegbile’s leadership, the NAACP volunteered its services to represent Mumia Abu-Jamal, a member of the Black Panthers, who murdered Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner three decades ago.
Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death by the Pennsylvania jury that had convicted him in 1982 while Mumia’s supporters – including Debo Adegbile – have long claimed that he was the victim of a racist legal system.
“Despite Abu-Jamal losing multiple appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court has twice refused to hear his case, under the leadership of Adegbile in 2012, the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund represented Abu-Jamal in his latest appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The cop murderer lost that one too, but the fact remains that Adegbile continues fighting on his behalf,” according to Judicial Watch.
Obama’s nomination of a defender of a cop-killer has outraged the 325,000 law enforcement officers represented by the National Fraternal Order of Police, and in their biting letter to President Obama dated Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, the group expressed their outrage.
In their letter, FOP officials wrote about their membership’s “extreme disappointment, displeasure and vehement opposition” to Adegbile’s nomination:
“As word of this nomination spreads through the law enforcement community, reactions range from anger to incredulity,” the letter says, reminding the Commander in Chief that there is no disputing that Officer Faulkner was murdered by the “thug” who Adegbile continues defending.
“This nomination can be interpreted in only one way: it is a thumb in the eye of our nation’s law enforcement officers,” the letter continues. “It demonstrates a total lack of regard or empathy for those who strive to keep you and everyone else in our nation safe in your homes and neighborhoods—sometimes giving their lives in the effort.”
Adegbile will certainly exacerbate the growing division and distrust between law enforcement and minority communities, the FOP claims. The group ends their biting letter by telling the commander-in-chief of its hope that candidates with records of “fairness and respect to all Americans” are considered for future leadership positions in the administration.
“Don’t hold your breath. It’s really not all that surprising to see a radical candidate like Adegbile nominated for this particular job. Remember the last guy (now Labor Secretary Thomas Perez) Obama picked to head the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division? He is a renowned La Raza advocate who led the DOJ’s attack on Arizona’s illegal immigration enforcement law and state Voter ID measures nationwide,” stated Judicial Watch officials.
Perez was also heavily embroiled in a scandal involving the DOJ’s abrupt decision to abandon its own voter intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Judicial Watch uncovered documents that show Perez lied under oath to a commission investigating the Black Panther debacle, according to an Examiner news story.