*Trump’s new Attorney General Jeff Sessions has questioned reports published by his agency about policing in Chicago and Ferguson, Missouri, describing “some of it” as “pretty anecdotal and not so scientifically based.”
While admitting that he had not read the reports, but instead viewed summaries, Sessions questioned the department’s findings using the “anecdotal” critique and said that there will always be some mistakes, reports ABC News.
“You have 800,000 police in America, imagine a city of 800,000 people,” said Sessions. “There’s going to be some crime in it, some people are going to make errors.”
As previously reported, the Chicago PD investigation, released in January, found “systemic deficiencies” in the city’s police department including violations of the U.S. Constitution. The 161-page report, capping a year-long investigation, identified the use of deadly force by officers, “racially discriminatory conduct,” a lack of investigation into cases, unfair advancement policies and poor support for officer welfare as areas warranting reform.
In Ferguson, the site of the fatal police shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in 2014, the Justice Department found extreme instances of racial bias, use of excessive force and a focus on generating revenue through policing.
The report found that African-Americans were targeted in 85 percent of vehicle stops, received 90 percent of the city’s citations and made up 93 percent of arrests, while only comprising 67 percent of the population.
Sessions said Monday that he “really worr[ies] about Chicago,” citing an uptick in murders and a reduction in stops and arrests there. He also said he believes that prosecution of gun-related crimes would reduce crime and that police are no longer as engaged in policing, contributing to increased violence.
Upon the release of January’s report, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that “one of [her] highest priorities” was to “ensure that every American enjoys police protection that is lawful, responsive and transparent.”
As a result of the investigation, the Justice Department and the city signed an agreement to cooperate on a federal court-enforceable consent decree addressing the deficiencies. Sessions did not offer comment on that agreement Monday.