Former senator from Alabama, blatant racist and current Attorney General of the United States Jeff Sessions has penned an op-ed in USA Today that starts off with a bald-faced lie: “Violent crime is surging in American cities.”
Although there has been an uptick in some cities, overall the rate of violent crime in American cities has been steadily decreasing or, at worst, remained flat. But that didn’t stop Sessions from charging that Obama era consent decrees are “handcuffing the police.”
According to Sessions, use of excessive force by police is relegated to just a few bad actors. He considers the consent decrees, which are vehicles to prioritize community relations with the police, as well as teaching de-escalation tactics rather than using brute force, to be a threat to innocent civilian lives.
He wrote: “We will not sign consent decrees for political expediency that will cost more lives by handcuffing police instead of the criminals.”
His op-ed is littered with buzz words favored by the right: plague of violence, drug trafficking, gang violence. He drags out Trump’s favorite target, Chicago, as an example of how police feel hamstrung. He glosses over the fact that the police aren’t doing their job, while he acknowledges a dramatic decrease in the arrest rate. Also mentioned are the deplorable crime statics in Baltimore, which has also seen a precipitous drop in arrest rates. But nowhere does Sessions acknowledge the causes of the violence, or even the location of the worst spots – and those are always in poverty stricken areas where hope is just a four letter word. He fails to mention a Justice Department report that found the Chicago police were poorly trained and quick to resort to excessive force before employing tactics to de-escalate a given situation. He doesn’t bother to note that there have never been any consequences for the officers involved. Nor does he reference Justice Department findings that found Baltimore Police have systematically allowed crimes committed by police to go unpunished. Of course, those findings were from the Obama Justice Department, so they are to be ignored and discarded. And, of course, the victims of crimes committed by police in those departments were overwhelmingly African-American and Latino. We all know what Sessions thinks of those people.
Sessions did pay lip service to the need for “common-sense reforms” like de-escalation training and punishing police who violate civil rights. As if Sessions is concerned about the civil rights of anyone who doesn’t look, act and think just like him. He asserts the reforms should be enacted on the local level in order to “avoid harmful federal intrusion in the daily work of local police.”
When the police department looks like an invading force and metes out brutal force to unarmed citizens without facing consequences, you have what can only be termed a police state. Looks like that’s okay by Attorney General Sessions. Because nothing says justice like a healthy dose of racism. You have to wonder what his policy would be if the preponderance of those injured or killed were white. Would Sessions then be on the same page? Or would he be calling for more stringent federal measures in the nation’s police departments?