in Baton Rouge, local law enforcement officials pleaded with Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to leave in place Walt Green, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, citing his efforts fighting violent crime. Green was fired anyway. Sessions allowed two U.S. Attorneys to stay in office for a few more months to be eligible for retirement benefits.
The 15,000 new agents sought by the President would cost $1.38 billion to $1.48 billion annually. “What is the evidence that this is going to make the difference that you want to make? (That is what) is missing right now,” says Ryan Alexander of Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Urban violence, police shootings, the opioid epidemic, and a tense political campaign dominated criminal justice coverage during 2016. How did the coverage measure up? And what was overlooked? As journalists gathered in NYC for this year’s John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America, TCR published our annual press review.
The president’s warning that he will send in the feds if Chicago can’t fix the “carnage” of violence shows he misunderstands the problem. It also sidesteps the kind of assistance that cities experiencing upsurges in homicides really need, says a former DOJ official.
There’s a troubling gap between what senior police managers and outside reformers want law enforcement to become, and what most ordinary cops see as threatening to their livelihoods and safety. Here are some ways to bridge the gap—and restore trust and transparency.
Fundamental change in American policing can’t co-exist with the mindset that the President-elect and allies like Jeff Sessions, the attorney general-designate, are bringing to the justice portfolio, Unless local agencies take the lead, that could spell more trouble in the streets.
Representatives of NAACP and MALDEF tell a New Orleans conference they’ll fight any efforts by the next administration to turn back the clock on civil rights and justice reform —but they also hope they won’t have to.
The prospects look bleak, unless Donald Trump backtracks from the 1980s-style “tough-on-crime” rhetoric that largely ignored contemporary evidence-based research. Any surviving reform efforts will be “piecemeal and modest,” predicts a leading criminologist.
Portland, Or., officers use pepper spray, rubber projectiles against demonstrators they say caused a riot. Trump first complained about “professional protesters,” today welcomed the “passion” of “small groups of protesters.”
Whoever takes the helm of the Department of Justice next year will be overseeing a justice system profoundly transformed by the nation’s first female A-G. One of her top priorities—addressing wrongful convictions—is now a hard-to-abandon centerpiece of American justice.