Clyde Haberman at the New York Times has an interesting column on the general shift away from bringing civil rights charges when state juries fail to convict in cases on the state level. Al Sharpton is calling on the Obama Administration to try police officers again in the case of Michael Mineo after a Brooklyn jury acquitted three police officers.
Officer Richard Kern was accused of ramming his baton between Mr. Mineo’s buttocks and other officers were accused of covering up the abuse.
While the officers celebrated the decision, Mineo had a different take: “I kind of had a feeling it would turn out this way. If you want to commit a murder, join the N.Y.P.D. and you get cleaned off.”
The declination of a federal prosecution is part of an interesting trend as federal prosecutors increasingly question the need or fairness of such duplicative trials. Such federal charges always raise concerns with civil libertarians over double jeopardy. While the Supreme Court had held that there is no such violation, the trials tend to involve the same witnesses and same alleged acts.
For the story,click here.