The Washington Post reported late Monday night that the attorney general “said agreements reached previously between the department’s civil rights division and local police departments—a key legacy of the Obama administration—will be subject to review by his two top deputies, throwing into question whether all of the agreements will stay in place.” Sessions’s Justice Department has also asked a federal judge to postpone a hearing on a major reform agreement that President Barack Obama’s Justice Department reached with the Baltimore Police Department in January.
“This is terrifying,” Jonathan Smith, executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, told the Post. “This raises the question of whether, under the current attorney general, the Department of Justice is going to walk away from its obligation to ensure that law enforcement across the country is following the Constitution.” Other civil rights and police reform leaders were equally appalled:
Trump, who ran as “the law-and-order candidate,” has always turned a blind eye to the systemic racism of the criminal justice system, and he’s consistently peddled the falsehood that there’s a widespread war on police. Sessions’s civil rights record is famously troubled. That’s why many feared that black lives wouldn’t matter to this administration, and the early signs suggest those fears are coming true.