Do federal agents need a license to kill in order to protect us?  Unfortunately, federal judges are giving law enforcement agents blanket immunity when they shoot Americans while the agents are on the job. It would be difficult to imagine a greater violation of equal rights under the law or a bigger mockery of due process.

After Larry Jackson, Jr., of Austin, Texas, was killed by a policeman in 2013, a local prosecutor indicted the policeman on manslaughter charges. Jackson’s family claimed that he had been executed by the policeman but a federal judge granted immunity from prosecution because the policeman “was acting in his capacity as a federal officer.” The ruling in the Austin case could extend federal immunity from prosecution for shootings to “hundreds, if not thousands, of state and local police officers who participate in federal task forces,” the Washington Post noted.

Federal officers have been involved in 33 killings so far this year. The Justice Department almost never prosecutes federal agents for shootings in the line of duty, and the feds have invoked the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution to block state and local prosecutions of federal agents in recent decades. The ruling in the Austin case “raises the question of when, if ever, a federal law enforcement officer can be charged with a crime for killing someone in the line of duty,” the Post noted.

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