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The criminal justice system and potential reforms to it have been at the forefront of the national conversation for much of the past year.

Article by Zack Smith from Daily Signal.

Unfortunately, when tragic events such as the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May occur, as my colleague John Malcolm has written, “it is often the police who suffer the greatest backlash, both in threats to their own physical safety and in growing distrust from some in the communities they are sworn to serve and protect.”

Unfortunately, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 that the House of Representatives passed 220-212 on March 3 entirely along party lines (and with two Democratic congressmen joining Republicans in voting against the bill) will do little to combat those problems—and could make them worse.

The bill would take away tools that help keep police officers safe by limiting the ability of local law enforcement agencies to receive surplus military equipment, and it bans the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases at the federal level and prohibits state and local governments that allow them from receiving certain federal grants.

While the use of those types of warrants should be extremely limited, banning them removes an important officer-safety tool that might be appropriate in certain dangerous situations, such as when federal agents and local law enforcement officers raid drug dealers’ “stash houses,” which can be manned by heavily armed, violent gang members.

On top of that, the bill imposes new standards for when it is appropriate to use deadly force. Those standards could cause officers to hesitate in critical situations, especially since the bill provides that if they didn’t stringently follow its requirements or if their own “gross negligence” contributed to the use of such force, they can’t use justification as a defense.

Imagine the so-called “Ferguson Effect” on steroids.

It also removes important protections when a law enforcement officer—or anyone else—is subjected to federal criminal prosecution.

It lowers the mens rea requirement from “willfully” to “knowingly and recklessly” for someone to be prosecuted under a federal civil rights law for using their official positions to violate someone’s rights—legally speaking, depriving someone of their rights under color of law.

It also would broadly expand actions that can be prosecuted under this bill, including any maneuver that “reduces intake of air” to someone being detained. That provision potentially covers a broad swath of conduct, even accidental or unintentional conduct, especially when viewed in conjunction with the lowered mens rea requirement.

It also strips away the defense of qualified immunity, but only for law enforcement officers. That means that a law enforcement officer who had to make a split-second decision can no longer raise that defense when accused of violating someone’s rights. Meanwhile, others, such as university administrators, who are able to make much more considered decisions, can still raise it to avoid a lawsuit—for example, when they are accused of violating students’ First Amendment rights.

The bill would also require the Justice Department to create a national registry for police-misconduct complaints (and not just official findings of misconduct), but fails to provide adequate safeguards to avoid sensitive information about officers from being disseminated.

Most troublingly, perhaps, the legislation would force police departments to consider protected characteristics, such as race or gender, of an individual when engaging in most law enforcement interactions—in plain contravention of its goal of ending racial profiling.

The bill provides that “[p]roof that the routine or spontaneous investigatory activities of law enforcement agents in a jurisdiction have had a disparate impact on individuals with particular characteristics described in [the bill] shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation … .”

That would essentially establish a de facto quota system for traffic stops, pedestrian stops, interviews, and other investigatory activities, and could encourage officers and departments to “game the system” by stopping more individuals with certain types of characteristics—specifically, women, whites, or Asians—than they otherwise would.

Other provisions of the bill could potentially encourage frivolous lawsuits against police officers and departments, given the broad scope of activities covered, the disparate-impact analysis required, and the fact that a “prevailing party” will be awarded attorney’s fees.

Police departments would also be more concerned about litigation, potentially at the expense of engaging in law enforcement activities, because the bill increases the authority of the attorney general to conduct pattern-and-practice investigations, and it provides new tools and causes of action for state attorneys general to conduct pattern-and-practice investigations, too.

On top of all this, the bill would impose myriad new reporting requirements and data-gathering requirements on both police departments and the Justice Department. Those aren’t necessarily bad in and of themselves, but they might be difficult to implement in practice and divert important resources from law enforcement officers on the street.

Less objectionable aspects of the bill include its requirement that the attorney general establish a National Task Force on Law Enforcement Oversight staffed by various Justice Department components; that uniformed federal officers wear body cameras; and that marked federal police cruisers install dashboard cameras.

The bill also makes clear that an individual in the custody of an officer cannot consent to sexual contact with that officer or other officers, and makes it a federal crime for a law enforcement officer to engage in sexual conduct with someone in his or her custody.

Of course, those latter provisions likely could pass easily if not paired with those other provisions that make the lives of law enforcement officers needlessly difficult and dangerous.

There are smart criminal justice reform measures that Congress could take, but the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 misses the mark. Hopefully, it will meet the same fate as a predecessor bill last year and not pass the Senate.

‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us

Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.

For the last few months, NOQ Report has appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.

It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. One of our YouTube accounts was banned and another has been suspended. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.

The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancelation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.

The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects. These questions are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting cancelled.

There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ Report readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are on track to be short by about $5300 per month in order to maintain operations.

The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.

During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.

We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above.

As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going.

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