The Justice Department’s Decision to Overrule a Police Officer’s Decision to Investigate a Crime Is Not a Crime

The Justice Department's Decision to Overrule a Police Officer's Decision to Investigate a Crime Is Not a Crime

Column: Bimbos, ‘bottom girls’ and the ugly reality of misogyny in our justice system

“The issue of sex is a very complicated one. It’s complex and it’s difficult to answer in one statement the issues that come up when I’m asked about it.”

If the woman behind the counter at the local gas station and convenience store thought about it long and hard, the word “problematic” could describe her answer.

“It’s not an issue when you’re behind the counter,” she said. “And you know, there’s women that are working behind the counter too.” But that’s not how the legal system views it.

In the past decade, police departments across the country have made significant investments to hire and train officers specifically to investigate sexual assault and domestic violence cases, the result of public outcry after the case of former Los Angeles Police Department officer Johannes Mehserle. As of January 2016, the LAPD reported that they had 880 sexual assault investigators; 1,800 domestic violence investigators; and 2,900 police officers who are specially trained to respond to, or investigate, domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

But in 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice issued an internal memo that said a law enforcement officer’s decision to investigate a case is not in and of itself a violation of the Constitution, or a crime. That memo was released a few months after the infamous case of police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown, a black teenager. The Justice Department found that Wilson’s decision to shoot Brown was “unreasonable,” and therefore, he should have never been charged with a crime.

The Justice Department’s decision to overrule a police officer’s decision to investigate a crime is now the basis of a lawsuit filed by Mehserle’s mother against the city of Los Angeles and several police officers who investigated her son’s case, alleging a violation of her son’s civil rights.

In February, the

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