Prosecutors Call Barr Comments ‘Deeply Concerning’

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William Barr

William Barr. Caricature by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Dozens of current and former prosecutors and law enforcement officials signed a letter calling last week’s attack by Attorney General William Barr on progressive district attorneys “deeply concerning,” The Hill reports.

Speaking to the Fraternal Order of Police, Barr blasted unnamed DAs who have declined to prosecute some nonviolent offenses as “anti-law enforcement.” “A growing number of criminal justice, law enforcement and prosecution leaders reject AG Barr’s perspective; we do not view our jobs as waging a ‘war’ against ‘criminal predators,’ ” the letter says.

It notes that crime remains at historic lows, with violent crime cut nearly in half over the past 25 years, a change that cannot be attributed to an increase in incarceration.

“Our nation is on the road to meaningful and lasting criminal justice reform — as reflected in the bipartisan passage of the First Step Act and other changes sweeping the country. It is not the time for a return to fear-driven narratives that find no foundation in fact,” the letter states.

The signers include Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, Cook County, Il., State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Boston (Suffolk County) DA Rachael Rollins, Manhattan DA Cy Vance, and William Lansdowne, the former chief of the San Diego, San Jose and Richmond, Ca., police departments.

Barr spoke the same week that Philadelphia U.S. Attorney William McSwain blamed “vile rhetoric” from Krasner for a gunman’s nonfatal shooting of six Philadelphia police officers. McSwain falsely claimed violent crime in the city has “skyrocketed” since Krasner was elected in 2017.

Additional Reading: ‘Wake Up Mr. Barr, It’s 2019,’ The Crime Report, Aug 14, 2019

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