Police and law enforcement officials are backing Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Justice.
Law enforcement groups view Sessions as someone who will bring a “police-first” mentality to Justice that they say was absent during President Obama’s eight years in office.
In Sessions, they see a traditional law-and-order style enforcer who they believe will repair the relationship between the feds and local police that has grown frosty in the Obama administration.
Sessions is backed by key figures from within several prominent police groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the nation’s largest police union; the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association; the National Association of Police Organizations; and the National Sheriffs Association.
“We have about a 20-year relationship with Jeff Sessions from his time in the Senate on the Judiciary Committee and our members in Alabama who worked with him, both as state attorney general and a U.S. attorney, and the best way to sum it up is that we don’t have anything bad to say about Jeff Sessions,” FOP executive director Jim Pasco told The Hill.
“He has extraordinary insight into the demands and stresses of a police officer’s life and also has a real reverence for the rule of law. It sounds corny but it’s true, and that’s what our members pray for in a prosecutor.”
Obama’s attorneys general, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, prioritized investigations into police practices, particularly in minority communities. That focus and growing nationwide attention to potential police abuses led to several high-profile Justice Department investigations into police departments in Cleveland, Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere.
Some law enforcement officials believe those investigations have produced onerous new restrictions and an intrusive level of oversight that they say has stripped the police of their ability to react instinctively to potentially dangerous encounters.
And they say public criticism and the intense focus from Obama’s White House and the Justice Department have undermined law enforcement authority at the local level by demonizing police.
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Source: The Hill