AG Jeff Sessions is Focused on Reducing Crimes & Supporting Police Officers

States Brace For War Over Marijuana With DOJ

He noted that the Justice Department "has an absolute duty to ensure that police operate within the law, and if they violate the law, they've committed a crime just as much as any other citizen who commits an assault, and we'll do our duty" while helping "police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness".

He also signaled agreement with FBI Director James Comey that some police are pulling back on crime enforcement for fear of being captured on video.

So is this a blip or the beginning of a trend?

"Somehow, someway we undermined the respect for our police and made, often times, their job more hard", Mr. Sessions said. "Maybe we got a bit overconfident when we've seen the crime rate decline so steadily for so long". However, so-called broken windows policing that calls for measures like stop-and-frisk have been abandoned by several major cities without any corollary spike in crime. Instead, he said, the federal government must help police combat violent crime in poor and minority communities.

The attorney general expressed skepticism about the Obama administration's expansive investigations into police departments for alleged civil rights violations and other abuses.

Citing the 800,000 law enforcement officers serving across the country, Sessions insisted that "some people are going to make errors".

When Sessions was asked at his confirmation hearing whether he would use federal resources to investigate and prosecute sick people who use medical marijuana, he replied: "I won't commit to never enforcing federal law".

Almost half of federal prisoners are in custody for drug offenses, and the Bureau of Prisons budget accounts for about one-third of the department's overall $29 billion spending plan. According to Census data from 2014, there are more young black high school dropouts in prison than have jobs.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said he hadn't read the full Justice Department reports on unconstitutional police practices in Ferguson, Missouri, and Chicago, but the summaries were "pretty anecdotal, and not so scientifically based".

"I am definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana", he said.

And yet, I guarantee you that in the comments section of this post, somebody will cling to the fading hope that Donald Trump is pro-states' rights on marijuana and will rein in his Attorney General from conducting any federal interference in the eight states that have legalized adult use of marijuana.

"No states allow this", said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, a pro-legalization group. The Associated Press reported that studies about violence and marijuana have not shown any connection.

Sessions spoke of his support for "a 1990s-era effort that sought harsh sentences for felons caught with firearms as a way to reduce violent crime through increased gun prosecutions".

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