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Enhanced Protections for Law Enforcement Officers without Comprehensive Accountability is an Attack on Black and Brown Communities

WASHINGTON – Immediately following the swearing in ceremony of Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General today, Donald Trump signed three executive orders including one calling for an increase on harsh penalties for crimes against law enforcement and one forming a U.S. Department of Justice task force on violent crime. Advancement Project, a national racial justice organization, released the following statement in response:

“These executive orders are a chilling prelude to the actualization of Trump’s ‘law and order’ agenda which will target communities of color,” said Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project’s national office. “While Trump and Sessions both claim increased crime and attacks on law enforcement as a basis for today’s executive orders, these orders have nothing to do with public safety. Instead, these executive orders indicate a desire to promote unfettered police power.”

“With these executive orders, the new administration signals a radical, 180-degree shift in the role of the Department of Justice. DOJs historic role of protecting communities of color from unconstitutional policing will vanish. Trump’s DOJ instead promotes the unchecked use of police force and intimidation in communities of color by stripping away accountability structures.

“Despite Trump’s blatant lie that the murder rate is at a 45-year high, the violent crime rate has decreased significantly in the last several decades and the number of officers killed in the line of duty has decreased by more than 50% since the 1970’s. Rather than continue to build on existing attempts to address systemic racism within law enforcement agencies, Trump and Sessions are painting a false picture of a nation riddled with violent crime in an effort to reverse every shred of progress that has been made. Make no mistake, using lies to dangerously tip the scales of justice toward law enforcement officers without the means to hold them accountable is dangerous to public safety and a direct attack on Black and Brown communities.”

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Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier

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