The new administration appears ready to stop Obama-era investigations into police brutality. In the wake of police killings in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland, the Justice Department under Barack Obama investigated specific police departments as a measure of accountability. Following the investigations, the Justice Department said it would continue to monitor the departments.
Yesterday, in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ first speech, he said that the federal government wouldn’t be doing that anymore because it made the police less effective.
Sessions told the National Association of Attorneys General:
We need, so far as we can, in my view, help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness. And I’m afraid we’ve done some of that. So we’re going to try to pull back on this, and I don’t think it’s wrong or mean or insensitive to civil rights or human rights.
Sessions went on to say that the policies of the Obama administration may have actually undermined the work of police officers nationwide.
Earlier in the week, Sessions said that the Justice Department’s review of the Chicago Police Department was not reliable. Later, he said that he had not read any of the reports that were published on the police departments—he only read summaries and dismissed them as anecdotal.