Can Cops Get a Fair Trial in America?

By Michelle Malkin

Court Gavel
Can Cops Get a Fair Trial in America?
Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin

USA –   -( Lock your doors. Hide your children. Police officers, be on alert:

Al Sharpton's cop-bashing circus is back in full swing.

Harlem's godfather of racial hoax crimes was in Oklahoma last week to stir up trouble as jury selection begins in the manslaughter trial of Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby.

Shelby is white. Terence Crutcher, the man she shot and killed during a tense traffic standoff last fall, was black. That's all the demagogue demolition team needs to know. Damn the facts. Screw due process. Powder up Showbiz Al and hustle over to the media tent.

Lights, cameras, agitate!

Sharpton's “prayer vigil” wasn't about expressing faith in God. It's about stoking the fires of identity politics at the altar of social justice. Sharpton's no man of peace. He's the fetid pile of human manure who ruined New York prosecutor Steven Pagones' life with the incendiary Tawana Brawley rape hoax. He stoked anti-Semitic hatred in Crown Heights after a tragic car accident — leading to the frenzied mob murder of rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum. He has inveighed against “crackers” and cracked jokes about “offing the pigs.”

Benjamin Crump
Benjamin Crump : Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images North America)

Also headlining the self-serving service in Tulsa this week: Sharpton's rabble-rousing heir and fellow race fabulist, Benjamin Crump. He's the Florida-based celebrity lawyer for the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown families who gained international notoriety perpetuating the “Hands Up, Don't Shoot” lie. Crump first parachuted into town last fall to snatch up the Crutcher family as new clients and to instigate protests outside Tulsa police headquarters demanding Officer Shelby's scalp.

Nearly 200 marchers wielded “Black Lives Matter” signs and screamed “Fire Betty!” before a police investigation was complete.

Others waved “white silence is violence” posters or a photo of a police badge labeled “License to Kill.” One protester took to the microphone to declare that “a good white man is a dead white man.”

The agitation worked. Tulsa District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler rushed to file charges before the lead homicide detective in the case had finished his work — an obvious attempt to appease the unappeasables and avoid the next Ferguson.

Make no mistake: When the social justice warriors crusade for “immediate justice,” they're not asking for proper adjudication in the courts. They're demanding an immediate guilty verdict, retribution, and a big, fat civil rights lawsuit settlement.

Until the Shelby case, police under fire remained silent as the social justice mob hijacked the courts of law and public opinion. But Shelby and her lawyers fought back. She sat down with “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker last month to describe her state of mind during the encounter with a noncompliant Crutcher, who had the hallucinogenic drug PCP in his system at the time of his death. She adamantly insisted race was not a factor in the shooting and described the “lynch mob” atmosphere in the days since she was charged and put on administrative leave.

Crump and Sharpton faced no admonitions for their pre-trial antics. But after Shelby's TV appearance defending herself, the judge in the case issued the police officer and her legal team a reprimand. This is maddening.

Cops are damned if they do speak up and damned if they don't.

Two years ago, former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was advised by his trial lawyer to stay quiet before and during his chaotic trial on trumped-up sexual assault charges by a parade of shady women who are now clients of Benjamin Crump's seeking high-dollar civil rights awards. Several of these convicted felons gave interviews or testified while high, couldn't identify Holtzclaw or his patrol car from photo line-ups, misidentified his race, hair color, height, and weight, and changed key details of their stories after being approached and coached by confirmation bias-driven detectives.

Holtzclaw, against his every instinct to defend his character and reputation, was told to keep quiet while accusers lied, prosecutors smeared, and disrupters shouted “Give him life!” and “Racist cop!” and “Racist jury!” Seven phones were confiscated from people taking photos in the courtroom, including images of jury members.

The judge in the case, Timothy Henderson, knew for weeks before trial that the city had granted a permit for protesters to occupy the steps and streets outside the courtroom. He lamely confessed that he didn't “know really what can be done other than to admonish the jury to disregard” the commotion. He and city officials claimed to be powerless to stop the sabotage of Holtzclaw's right to a fair trial — sabotage that they enabled.

This week, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals rejected a motion by lawyers Randy Coyne and J. Christian Adams to submit an amicus brief in the Holtzclaw case on the dangerous hijacking of the courts by the social justice mob. Their message deserves to be heard.

“There is a First Amendment right of free speech. There also is a First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. But for outsiders at a criminal trial, there is no First Amendment right to petition the jury and browbeat it into delivering one's preferred verdict,” the lawyers from opposite sides of the political aisle argued.

If real justice surrenders to social justice in the courtroom, we all lose.

About: Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin is host of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” on As well as the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” & “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild“. Her e-mail address is [email protected]

  • 11 thoughts on “Can Cops Get a Fair Trial in America?

    1. What are “… softball trials with advantages that productive citizens do not have.”? And how does one arrange ” The playing field is tilted in favor of the cop…”? I am interested in how that is done.

    2. @frank, you sound like a cop, if not maybe your a wanna be but lets go over your comment a little.
      1- showing up for work being oblivious to everything. its called going to work, ill give you that.
      2-Getting into bad situations. Comes with the job.
      3-leaving family behind, still called going to work Frank.
      4-exposed to society’s worst Hmm still falls under bad situations
      5-take a bullet from a random citizen. Personally Frank I would be more worried about taking a bullet from
      a trigger happy random cop but that’s just me.
      Well Frank if you are a cop, yes you did sign up for all the above, and if not well I guess you had the
      same Army recruiter that tells all the young kids to come right in and sign up, its not just a job its an adventure.
      Always remember, choose your profession before it chooses you, and the questions you answer
      may and will incriminate you. Always have an attorney present before answering any questions from a cop.
      Sound about right Frank?

      1. Gee gcm; Spoken like a true idiot who has not a clue about what police officers face day after day and one who would wet his pink panties if thrust into that situation. MAYBE you should spend some time and see if your local law enforcement offers “ride along” programs for the clueless citizens like you.
        So where would YOU be if NO ONE chose to be a law enforcement officer?
        Stop and think before you spew.

        1. It’s akin to being a soldier – if you didn’t want the element of danger you should’t have signed up. Then again looking up what the most dangerous professions are is eye-opening.

      2. What are you clowns talking about?!? Reading your comments, it sounds like you didn’t even read the article. I don’t know any cops that complain about the danger, working nights, weekends, and holidays, over exposure to witnessing death and injury, constant contact with the dregs of society, etc. Nope, they signed up for it and, in my opinion, that’s to their credit. What they are complaining about, and rightfully so, is the breakdown of the rule of law as the media and “social justice” vermin circumvent due process and pressure departments and government agencies to arbitrarily meet out judgment before the facts are in. Claims that law enforcement deserves this treatment because of past perceived practices is incredibly short sighted and imbecilic. I don’t want any profession, race, religion, gender, or creed to have any more or less due process of law….period!

    3. So then showing up to work while you get to be oblivious to everything ‘t enough?
      Willingly getting to go into bad situations day after day isn’t enough?
      Leaving their family behind to help yours isn’t enough?
      Being exposed to society’s worst so you might not have to be isn’t enough?
      Let me know when you might get to take a bullet because some random citizen doesn’t like the uniform you wear.

    4. The way I see it is I will start being concerned with their rights and safety when they start demonstrating that they are concerned about mine. Until then, I think they deserve everything they are getting.

    5. Sometimes I have to take issue. It has been over a year since Punta Gorda police officer Lee Cole shot and killed an unarmed 76 year old woman. It was through his own and other so called professionals negligence and stupidity that she died. They are all being treated with kid gloves. Double standard? Me thinks so.

    6. Nope, judges and prosecutors make sure that cops have softball trials with advantages that productive citizens do not have. The playing field is tilted in favor of the cop defendant and against the citizen victim. That is why you see so few of these thugs pay for their crimes.

      1. Chris Mallory, this report does not fit your narrative. Yes, police appear to “get away with it” many times, but they are court trials with juries. The juries aren’t paid-off, so your view of “softball trials” is a bit off the mark. There are both prosecutors and defendants at those trials. It is more likely that due to the work they do, they get involved in many cases where judgment is dark-gray.

        Look at the Ferguson shooting, its aftermath and trial. Look at what happened to that innocent policeman. He had to leave his job, go into hiding due to death threats, and his and his entire family’s lives are now ruined forever. What happened to those rioters and those that threatened and destroyed his and his family’s lives? Nothing even remotely close to what happened to him and his family. All because he was doing his job and was attacked by a violent criminal.

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