Mar 16, 2017
A year ago, law-and-order conservatives and police unions denounced the Obama administration for seeking to “federalize” local police departments. Now the same interests are applauding President Trump and Attorney General Sessions for their own efforts to expand federal involvement in local law enforcement – because unlike their predecessors they are offering financial and material aid to local police while at the same time making their departments less accountable to the public.
“To turn back rising crime, we must rely heavily on all of you in state and local law enforcement to lead the way – and you must know that you have our steadfast support,” Sessions told a March 15 gathering of police officials in Richmond, Virginia. “The federal government should use its money, research, and expertise to help you figure out what is happening and determine the best ways to fight crime,” he continued. “We should strengthen partnerships between federal and state and local officers. And we should encourage the proactive policing that keeps our neighborhoods safe. This Department of Justice will do just that.”
Sessions, like President Trump, insists that the country is seeing a dramatic nation-wide increase in violent crime, a claim that is not supported by the FBI’s crime statistics. Sessions also promises to revive federal support for marijuana prohibition, while inexplicably insisting that efforts to decriminalize marijuana are somehow connected to a recent upsurge in opioid abuse, which is being driven by the diversion of prescription painkillers.