You’d think that after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell protected Attorney General Jeff Sessions from being called a racist on the Senate floor, Sessions owe a debt to the senator, but when the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it is forming partnerships with a dozen cities to help them crack down on violent crime, Louisville, which is well on its way to setting a record for homicides for the second straight year, was not on the list, writes Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Joseph Gerth. Lansing, Michigan, was, even though its eight homicides last year was the lowest number in decades.
Louisville is dealing with a horrific problem, with 124 homicides in Jefferson County, and 64 so far this year. Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman, said cities weren’t asked to apply and were picked “based on crime statistics, input from federal law enforcement components … and interest/ability of the site to benefit from intensive training and technical assistance.” Cincinnati is on the current list. Last year it saw its number of homicides drop from 71 to 62. And Toledo, Ohio, is there, with 36 murders last year. Ohio, where Gov. John Kasich, has been openly critical of President Trump, has two cities on the list. Gerth notes that several cities on the DOJ list have serious murder problems, including Birmingham, Al., Indianapolis, Houston, and Memphis. The columnist notes that none of the chosen locations for the DOJ program are sanctuary cities, which limit their cooperation with the federal government in enforcing immigration laws. While Louisville isn’t officially a sanctuary city, Mayor Greg Fischer had made clear that it welcomes immigrants.