The Problem With How Jeff Sessions Talks About Crime

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) makes opening remarks to a panel of Department of Homeland Security officials John Wagner, deputy assistant commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Field Operations; Anh Duong, director of Border and Maritime Division of Homeland Security's Advanced Research Projects Agency; Craig Healy, assistant director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's National Security Investigations Division; and Rebecca Gambler,director of Homeland Security and Justice Issues of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, as they testify about the unimplemented biometric exit tracking system before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2016. (CBP Photo by Glenn Fawcett)

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that consent decrees—formal agreements between municipalities and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to improve local policing, often put in place in response to discriminatory practices—can “reduce the morale of police departments.” He wasn’t just paying lip service to police officers; earlier in the month, Sessions ordered a review of all consent decrees across the United States. Under President Obama, the DOJ regularly used these decrees, which offer the department a way to increase federal oversight, to work with cities to overhaul troubled police departments. Read more…

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