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Obama’s First Steps to Federalizing Local Police

Federal agents have joined with Baltimore police as part of a wide-reaching effort to curb the recent spike in the murder rate.

But there is no surprise here, Obama stated last May: “We have a great opportunity… to really transform how we think about community law enforcement relations,”

“We need to seize that opportunity… this is something that I’m going to stay very focused on in the months to come,” Obama said, as he touted a new interim report from his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the effort, launched today, involves personnel from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Secret Service and a few clowns from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Two agents from each agency directly embedding with the Baltimore police department’s homicide unit.

The collaboration, which Davis dubbed “B-Fed,” is the result of the deadliest month in decades with a night in which 10 people were shot — seven of them in one incident. A total of 191 people have been killed in Baltimore in 2015. Forty-five people were killed in July alone, matching the all-time monthly high from 1972, when the city had 275,000 more residents. Forty-two people were killed in May, the month after the death of Freddie Gray who may have killed himself in police custody but was blamed on the police by their elected leaders, sparking riots.

Obama also instructed his media allies back in May to help federalize policing, and to sideline the critics of centralized policing rules. “I expect our friends in the media to really focus on what’s in this report and pay attention to it,” he instructed.

The only question is, will the Federal Agents be immune from prosecution by the district attorney if accused of wrong doing by the political elite?

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