Tags: jeff sessions | marshall project | chicago lawsuit | sanctuary cities

Jeff Sessions Punishes All Police Departments Over Anger at Chicago

Image: Jeff Sessions Punishes All Police Departments Over Anger at Chicago

By    |   Tuesday, 17 April 2018 12:49 PM

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has denied federal funding to local law enforcement across the country in response to a lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago, The Marshall Project reports. 

Chicago filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois over the Justice Department’s attempt to force "sanctuary" cities to comply with what the city describes as “unauthorized and unconstitutional” practices by federal immigration officials. In response, Sessions locked local law enforcement out of $250 million in federal grants, including departments that have sided with the Justice Department on immigration.

"Obviously, we are not a sanctuary city," Anniston, Alabama Police Chief Shane Denham told the Marshall Project. "I am not quite sure why we would be affected."

Sessions’ freeze denied Anniston over $46,000 that would have been used to upgrade the computers and radar in its patrol cars.

"It’s not a GOP thing. It’s a neophyte in the White House thing," Regina B. Schofield, who worked in President George W. Bush’s White House assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice, told the Marshall Project. "They are taxpayer dollars that you are being entrusted with. They are not yours. You can’t play politics."

The head of the Office of Justice Programs under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Laurie O. Robinson, added that the freeze is a "tragedy," because “so many jurisdictions right now are really starved for resources. I really find it ironic that an administration that is continually touting its support for front-line law enforcement officers is now withholding the chief funding support that the Justice Department offers to law enforcement."

The money, which accounts for about one-fifth of the roughly $1.3 billion granted to local law enforcement, comes from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, known as JAG.

An attorney for the city of New York, which joined an Amicus Brief supporting Chicago’s lawsuit, said in a press release that it’s "ironic" that the DoJ would "withhold funds from a grant named for a New York City police officer who heroically gave his life to protect an immigrant witness who was cooperating with law enforcement."

Edward Bryne was killed while protecting a Guyanese witness to a drug case in 1988.

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has denied federal funding to local law enforcement across the country in response to a lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago, The Marshall Project reports.
jeff sessions, marshall project, chicago lawsuit, sanctuary cities
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2018-49-17
Tuesday, 17 April 2018 12:49 PM
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