Politics

Former DOJ official: Civil rights unit sent to mediate anti-Zimmerman protests has history of advocacy

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

“I found that some employees of CRS talked neutrally in public and spoke in the tenor of mediators in public, but behind the scenes, when they talked to the civil rights groups or the perceived aggrieved parties, they’ll say, essentially, ‘Don’t worry. The Department of Justice is here, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it,’” Harris said.

“I was shocked to learn that one black CRS employee in Battles’ region told a white CRS employee that the Civil Rights Act was meant for black people, not white people,” Harris said.

“It is clear that some of the Agency’s employees feel more of an allegiance to the people they perceive to be discriminated against than to the law, the government, or even the CRS mandate,” Harris continued. “That’s not going to change regardless of what political party controls the White House. The heads of the agency will change, and they will bring their own politicals with them, but the employees are always going to come to this kind of agency with the same kind of viewpoints or bias.  It’s headquarters’ job to rein in the career employees out in the field.”

Harris said such attitudes by CRS employees undermine the mission of the agency.

“Some people will say, ‘well, what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with having people that are passionate?’ The problem is that it undermines the mission statement” of CRS, Harris said. “In some cases, this is the U.S. government taking a stand against some people.”

The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment by TheDC.

Follow Patrick on Twitter