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Sessions: government should stop spending resources on lawsuits against local police

[JURIST] US Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official website] said [transcript, PDF] on Tuesday that the federal government should stop spending money to sue local police departments. In a speech to the National Association of Attorney Generals [official website], Sessions stated that the government should focus its resources on help police combat crime. Sessions announced the formation of a Justice Department task force [press release] to look at current practice deficiencies and propose new legislation to fight crime. Since 2015, violent crimes have increase by 3.9 percent. Sessions stated his commitment to show local police that they have his "steadfast support" after the previous administration spent considerable resources targeting police departments it deemed were using excessive force or targeting minorities.

The past year has seen a tremendous outcry against police actions by the Obama administration's Department of Justice. In January Baltimore reached an agreement with the DOJ on police reform after a finding [JURIST reports] in August by the DOJ that the police force had violated First and Fourth Amendment rights. In November Cleveland submitted [JURIST report] a revised use-of-force policy to a federal judge after a DOJ investigation found [JURIST report] the department was using excessive force. In May Louisiana's governor signed into law [JURIST report] an amended hate crimes bill including police, EMS and firefighters in the protected class after instances where police were terrorized and attacked in response to numerous police shootings. In December 2015 the DOJ announced that it would be opening a full investigation [JURIST report] into the Chicago Police Department following the 2014 police shooting death of a black teenager.

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