Government-Approved Race Riots?
By Matthew Vadum
The Obama administration deployed government-paid community organizers to Sanford, Florida after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin last year in order to foment racial tensions, newly released government documents show.
The news came as the Obama administration publicly pretended to be concerned at the prospect of ugly race riots breaking out across America in the increasingly likely event that defendant George Zimmerman will be acquitted in the case. Race riots benefit the Left, and in particular the Democratic Party, by riling up its staunchest voting bloc.
The Community Relations Service (CRS), a small office within the U.S. Department of Justice, sent taxpayer-funded political agitators to Sanford after 17-year-old Martin was killed Feb. 26, 2012, during a physical confrontation with community crime watch volunteer George Zimmerman. For a month and a half after Martin’s death, local police declined to press charges against Zimmerman because they believed the criminal case against him was weak.
DOJ documents provided to Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act show that in the weeks before Zimmerman was charged, CRS expended thousands of dollars to help organize marches in which participants exacerbated racial tensions and loudly demanded that he be prosecuted.
According to the documentation, CRS employees were involved in “marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain”; providing “support for protest deployment in Florida”; rendering “technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31”; and providing “technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.”
In April, CRS “set up a meeting between the local NAACP and elected officials that led to the temporary resignation of police chief Bill Lee according to Turner Clayton, Seminole County chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,” the document dump revealed.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton condemned the Obama administration’s meddling.
“These documents detail the extraordinary intervention by the Justice Department in the pressure campaign leading to the prosecution of George Zimmerman,” Fitton said. “My guess is that most Americans would rightly object to taxpayers paying government employees to help organize racially-charged demonstrations.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder already joined the leftist lynch mob and reached his own verdict in the controversial case that, thanks to cheerleader journalism, has divided America. Holder, whose visceral contempt for conservatives is well documented, has single-mindedly focused on turning the Department of Justice into a postmodernist racial grievance incubator.
Of course, in a sense this kind of government-subsidized pot-stirring is nothing new. The Left has been using taxpayer dollars to fund efforts to advance radical causes and foment revolution in the United States for a half century, as I explained in my book, Subversion Inc.
Changes in federal social policy in the mid-1960s helped to lay the groundwork for this artificial activism and the civil unrest it caused. Under the leftist-designed War on Poverty, the federal government has been handing out taxpayers’ money since 1965 to community groups in order to encourage them to agitate against the status quo. In a sense, America declared war on itself and funded Saul Alinsky-inspired pressure groups to do the fighting.
In the Zimmerman case, the Obama administration simply cut out the middleman by hiring community organizers directly instead of giving federal grants to left-wing activist groups to support their troublemaking.
This isn’t the first time President Obama has used DOJ employees as his personal Alinskyite stormtroopers. Uniformed field representatives of the CRS also assisted Occupy Wall Street and anarchist activists outside the Republican National Convention in Tampa last year.
At every turn of his entire political career Barack Obama has been the instigator, promoter, and beneficiary of left-wing race hatred. It helped him move up the political ladder.
Fishing for votes, Obama injected himself and racial politics into the Zimmerman case during the election cycle last year when he volunteered, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
In the Martin case, the Left appears to have employed the same race-baiting messaging strategy that helped to inflame racial tensions in the aftermath of the tragic 2006 death of Martin Lee Anderson, a 14-year-old black boy. After Anderson died during mandatory physical training at a Florida boot camp for young offenders, racial-grievance mongers and politicians claimed he was killed because of the color of his skin and demanded that criminal charges be laid. A racially diverse group of eight defendants (i.e. seven camp guards and a nurse) was eventually acquitted. The jury deliberated a mere 90 minutes after the three week manslaughter trial.
More evidence emerged yesterday that the prosecution of Zimmerman was a politically motivated witch hunt from the start.
After testifying in the trial Monday, former Sanford police chief Bill Lee told CNN that he was forced out of his job last year after he refused to lay charges against Zimmerman. In league with the NAACP, the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service helped to get Lee fired.
The investigation itself was hijacked by outside forces “in a number of ways,” Lee said.
Despite the absence of evidence suggesting Zimmerman’s guilt, city officials pressured Lee to arrest him, he said.
“It was (relayed) to me that they just wanted an arrest. They didn’t care if it got dismissed later,” he said. “You don’t do that.”
Investigators were painfully aware that keeping Zimmerman out of jail for 46 days after the shooting was politically unpopular, Lee explained. Their forbearance subjected them to abuse “but they performed professionally. That’s the mark of a strong police department.”
Lee defended the police investigation as “sound,” explaining that there was no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman at the scene or in the weeks following.
“The police department needed to do a job, and there was some influence — outside influence and inside influence — that forced a change in the course of the normal criminal justice process,” Lee said.
“With all the influence and the protests and petitions for an arrest, you still have to uphold your oath.”
“That investigation was taken away from us,” he said. “We weren’t able to complete it.”
Meanwhile, defense lawyers rested their case in the Zimmerman trial yesterday.
Zimmerman declined to take the witness stand in his own defense.
Sanford Chief of Police Cecil Smith told Breitbart News that there is “nothing out there” suggesting that the verdict in the trial will be followed by civil unrest.
Sanford police have been coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security and CRS regional director Thomas Battles, Smith said.
If no riots break out, Obama’s community agitators may be forced to start some.