Ondray Harris, the former director of the Department of Justice's "Community Relations Service," recently told the Daily Caller that he "regularly had to warn or take corrective action against career employees for acting as advocates instead of mediators."
The news follows explosive claims that the CRS, which says it provides "violence prevention and conflict resolution services," actively helped to organize and foment unrest during the anti-George Zimmerman protests of 2012.
“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 reportedly said.
He also described Thomas Battles, the regional director sent to Sanford to deal with the anti-George Zimmerman protests in 2012, as "black, and very pro-black."
Nominated by President Bush in 2007, Harris said Battles told him he wanted him to do well because "then I am doing well, and the whole race does well."
“I thought to myself: ‘are you kidding me? There’s no room for such racial favoritism here,'" Harris commented. "Eventually, I became even more concerned as Battles and others would openly share their extremely pro-minority [views] at the expense of the majority views. I felt such views compromised implementing the CRS mandate.”
He reiterated that it is "clear" that a number of 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...That’s not going to change regardless of what political party controls the White House."
He said it's the job of those at the top to "rein in the career employees out in the field," and warned of the consequences if they don't.
“In some cases, this is the U.S. government taking a stand against some people,” he said.
So far, evidence has only been uncovered definitely proving that CRS employees were present at the protests in Sanford, Florida in 2012. However, a warning by the agency's former director that the employees have a long history of advocacy and "racial favoritism" is certainly indicative that there may be more to the story.