Law Enforcers Challenge Trump on Justice Policies

Coalition meeting in Washington as Attorney General Jeff Sessions appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee urges “modern strategies, innovative solutions and a reliance on confirmed data” to fight crime. The Justice Department says “Americans voted for President Trump’s brand of law and order.”

A coalition of law enforcement officials and activists urging President Trump to adjust his policies on policing and criminality, the first time such a group has spoken out against the Trump administration, the New York Times reports. Prominent prosecutors, police chiefs and criminal justice overhaul advocates — including Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and representatives of the conservative Koch brothers network — are gathering in Washington, D.C., at a National Law Enforcement Summit. Among the speakers are former Attorney General Eric Holder and Sally Yates, the acting attorney general whom Mr. Trump abruptly fired in the first few days of his presidency. They are expected to challenge Trump, who ran as a “law and order” candidate but whose attorney general’s policies as well as Trump’s own messaging have come under criticism from local law enforcement officials.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pursued an aggressive approach to crime in major cities. He has claimed that Obama administration reductions in mandatory minimum sentences for some drug prosecutions has led to a large increase in crime. The coalition said in a letter to Trump and Sessions that today’s crime challenges “are best answered with modern strategies, innovative solutions and a reliance on confirmed data.” The group said good strategies had been “pioneered” at the local level and should be used across the U.S. A spokesman for the Department of Justice said that “Americans voted for President Trump’s brand of law and order and rejected the soft-on-crime policies that made it harder to prosecute drug traffickers and put dangerous criminals back on the street.” The summit meeting, which was coordinated by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, is taking place on the same day that Sessions is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.