Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused Sen. Elizabeth Warren of slandering America’s law enforcement officers by claiming that the justice system is racist.
Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who is considered a possible Democratic candidate for president in 2020, recently told a session sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus that the justice system is unfair, according to The Guardian.
“Let’s just start with the hard truth about our criminal justice system: it’s racist,” she said, adding that the justice system was flawed “all the way, front to back.”
“Our prison system is something that America should be ashamed of. What we do to other human beings is fundamentally wrong,” she added.
On Thursday, Sessions announced grant to fight violent crime and also responded to Warren, according to a text of his remarks released by the Justice Department.
Sessions noted that America’s police officers have for too long battled liberal critics who hold political office and demean police officers.
“One of my most important goals as Attorney General is to help restore officer morale. In recent years, too many of you were taken for granted, ignored, or even maligned by political leaders. President Trump came into office determined to change that. But even now, there are still many politicians who don’t appreciate you,” he said.
He then focused on Warren.
“Earlier this week, a U.S. Senator called our justice system ‘racist… And when I say our system, I mean all the way. I mean front to back… on the front end—what you declare to be illegal—[and] on how you enforce it, on who gets arrested,'” Sessions said.
“This is a slander of every law officer and every prosecutor in America. And, frankly, I think it is an insult to their families and to the crime victims they have helped to face their attacker. And so this slur isn’t just wrong. It’s sad,” he said.
Sessions noted that when politicians start using a label, others pick it up as well, referring to an incident in Philadelphia in which protesters called out “no good cops in a racist system.”
“Our officers face enough challenges—long and unpredictable work days, threats from violent criminals, and exposure to dangerous drugs, to name a few. The last thing that you need are political leaders and fellow citizens disrespecting you and the goals that you work so hard to accomplish,” Sessions said.
The attorney general then had a challenge for Warren.
“We have inherited and advanced the greatest justice system in the history of the world. Is it perfect? Of course not. But we are blessed to live under this system and to be stewards of it. I’d like to know whose justice system this Senator would prefer,” he said.
Sessions then contrasted the attitude of liberals such as Warren with that of President Donald Trump.
“Rather than deriding officers like you, Senators could be helpful and give you the tools that you need to be successful. And so I wanted to be here to tell you that this President and I support you. We respect you. And we value your work,” he said. “We affirm the critical role of police officers in our society and we will not participate in anything that would give comfort to criminals or radicals who promote agendas that preach hostility rather than respect for police.”
On Friday, Yarmouth, Massachusetts, Police Chief Frank G. Frederickson took to the department’s Facebook page and posted his reply to Warren.
“This statement is an insult to the hard working men and women of the Yarmouth Police Department as well as other Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies who are part of the criminal justice system. Additionally there are many District Attorneys, Judges, Probation Officers, Parole Officers and other parts of the system that she slapped in the face,” he wrote, adding that he now questioned the sincerity of the condolences she issued when two officers in his force were killed.
His post also included a letter from the president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Chief Steven J. Wojnar
“Labeling the entire criminal justice profession as ‘racist’ spreads false and damaging information about our members,” Wojnar wrote.
“When our elected officials make generalized and inflammatory statements about our entire profession, without any information to back their position, it creates further hostility toward our officers and can damage the positive relationships with our residents that we have worked long and hard to establish,” he added.
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