At the swearing-in ceremony to appoint controversial nominee Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Donald Trump signed three executive orders that will hand even more authority to police in order to deal with “public safety ”…
Despite evidence showing crime rates in the United states are actually down over the long term, Trump insisted that the U.S. faced the “threat of rising crime,” but he assured citizens that “things will get better soon” under his watch. We’ll see, won’t we?
One of the executive orders aims to “define new federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing federal crimes, in order to prevent violence” against federal, state, tribal, and local police.
“I am directing the Department of Justice to reduce crimes of violence against law enforcement officers,” Trump said. “It’s a shame, what has been happening to our great, our truly great, law enforcement officers. That is going to stop today.”
Sure, but Trump refrained from mentioning the 968 civilian deaths at the hands of police last year alone or the 130 people killed so far in 2017.
Trump’s executive orders come only one month after the Obama Administration’s DoJ reported that Chicago residents had suffered a “pattern of excessive force” by police, a pattern experienced particularly within communities of color.
The Obama administration had begun investigating excessive force claims after shocking videos emerged showing unarmed people such as Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, and Alton Sterling being violently arrested or killed at the hands of police officers. Jeff Sessions is unlikely to continue these investigations, and that excessive force is likely to proliferate.
Another executive order implored the Department of Homeland Security to “break the back of criminal cartels.” Trump asked the Department of Justice to send a clear message to criminals by implementing a task force to reduce violent crime.
“Your day is over,” he declared. “A new era of justice begins and it begins right now.”
President Trump and Mr. Sessions seem fixated on rampant crime and lawlessness, though the existence of such crime has been consistently debunked.
Crime rates have gone down significantly over the last several decades, though there has been a slight rise in crime over the last two years.
The facts don’t seem to faze Mr. Sessions, who told reporters, “I wish the rise that we’re seeing in crime in America today were some sort of aberration or a blip,” he said.
“My best judgement, having been involved in criminal law enforcement for many years, is that this is a dangerous, permanent trend that puts the health and safety of America at risk,” he added.
How will the administration’s tough on crime policies affect the over-policed communities of color that Trump told last November had “nothing to lose” because their supposed “crime-ridden inner cities, jobs, and schools” were “no good?”