- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 11, 2020

Jake Tapper asked Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley this week where his Democratic peers have been “for decades” on the issue of police brutality since so many major cities fall under the party’s control.

The host of CNN’s “The Lead” sat down with Mr. Cranley and Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison to discuss police reforms across the nation in the wake of 46-year-old George Floyd’s death during an arrest by Minneapolis cops.

“Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling for reforms,” Mr. Tapper told the mayor. “But most of the cities where these troubling incidents of police brutality have happened are cities run by Democrats. Now, I know you personally found your local Innocence Project. You have been active for years in trying to right injustices caused by the judicial system. But where have other Democratic mayors been on this problem that’s been going on for decades, if not centuries?”

“Well, Jake, it’s a great question,” the Democrat replied.

Mr. Cranley thanked the host for acknowledging The Innocent Project, which has resulted in 30 innocent people being released from Ohio prisons, before turning his attention to the federal government.

“It was John Ashcroft who was the attorney when we negotiated our group — when we negotiated changes in 2002, when I was a young city councilman,” the mayor continued. “I happen to believe that, if you look at the long history of civil rights, it has already required a strong federal role for protection of the constitutional rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment and the Bill of Rights, et cetera.

He said it would “nice” if the current the Justice Department reengaged with programs like The Innocence Project. “I think, candidly, it would help a lot of Democratic mayors around the country.”

Mr. Tapper then turned his attention to Mr. Harrison and asked if police unions “do more harm than good.”

The conservative blog Hotair responded to Mr. Cranley’s response by calling it “nonsense.”

“The Department of Justice does not have responsibility or authority over local police departments, except in consent-decree settlements over lawsuits stemming from abuses — and those are also a failure of local government and mayors,” wrote Ed Morrissey. “Mayors and city councils have primary authority over local law enforcement. It’s one of their most basic functions. The reason Cranley won’t answer Tapper’s exact question is because there is no answer other than an admission of failure.”

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