CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on Attorney General Jeff Sessions speech in Chicago (all times local):
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the kind of reforms planned for Chicago’s police force will cause a surge in violent crime.
Sessions spoke Friday to the Chicago Crime Commission about a plan to bring the Chicago Police Department under close federal court supervision. The reforms include limiting officers’ ability to use force.
Sessions reiterated criticisms he’d made when he announced the Trump administration would try to scuttle the plan. The administration says the plan takes policing authority away from the department and would deprive police flexibility to properly do their jobs.
Sessions alleged Chicago’s dramatic increase in homicides in 2016 was a direct result of an agreement between the city and the American Civil Liberties Union that required officers to more thoroughly document street stops.
Sessions referred to the recent conviction of a white Chicago police officer in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Sessions said the case shows such reforms are unnecessary because officers who break the law get punished.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to deliver a speech in Chicago one week after the Trump administration asked a judge to reject a draft plan to reform the city’s 12,000-officer police force.
There’s no official word on what Sessions will focus on Friday when speaking to the Chicago Crime Commission, a private group that advocates for effective crime-fighting laws.
But last week, Sessions sharply criticized the proposal to overhaul the Chicago Police Department under court supervision. The plan was negotiated between Chicago and the state of Illinois.
Sessions said last Friday the plan would deprive officers of flexibility and added that “police are the solution to crime and criminals are the problem.” The Justice Department the same day asked the federal judge to withhold his approval of the plan.
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