AG Sessions: DOJ to limit PD civil rights suits

The DOJ is shifting toward an emphasis on making those in minority or poor communities feel safe from violent crime


By PoliceOne Staff

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday civil rights suits against police departments will be limited under President Donald Trump. 

During a meeting with state attorney generals, Sessions said the Department of Justice is “pulling back” on the suits, NBC News reported.

“We need, so far as we can, to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness. And I'm afraid we've done some of that,” he said. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the National Association of Attorneys General annual winter meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the National Association of Attorneys General annual winter meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Sessions said the DOJ is shifting toward an emphasis on making those in minority or poor communities feel safe from violent crime, a move which will require more effective policing with help from the federal government. He believes the change is not “wrong or insensitive to civil rights or human rights.”

Federal prosecutors will be encouraged to pursue charges for crimes committed using firearms, resulting in heavier penalties for offenders than what courts at the state level can impose, according to NBC News.

"We need to return to the ideas that got us here, the ideas that reduce crime and stay on it. Maybe we got a bit overconfident when we've seen the crime rate decline so steadily for so long," he said.

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