The editorial board of the Chicago Tribune issued a scathing and sarcastic public calling out of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for finally attempting to give the appearance that he cares about the lives of black Americans -- including the ones who have been gunned down by law enforcement officers.
According to the paper, prior to the ascension of the Trump administration, the Department of Justice found that the Chicago police department was systematically using excessive force against African-Americans following a yearlong investigation which then led to a federal consent decree to address the issue.
Until recently the pro-police Sessions has balked at overseeing the changes that need to be made, and now has announced that he will oppose Chicago's' city leaders who want to enter into another agreement declaring, "The Justice Department will file a statement of interest opposing the proposed consent decree. It is critical that Chicago get this right.”
The Tribune took exception with Sessions' remarks and took him to the woodshed with a caustic open letter blasting his latest move.
"Dear Mr. Sessions," they wrote, "Thank you for your interest in Chicago’s police consent decree, now in its final stages of development. We are confident your “statement of interest” will be given due consideration by U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow Jr., who will hold public hearings on the draft agreement later this month."
"We have just one question: Where were you in early 2017, when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pledged to follow through on the consent decree prescribed by the U.S. Department of Justice you took over when the White House changed hands?" the op-ed continued, before sarcastically continuing, "Oh, now we remember: You wanted no part of it. You believed then, as you do now, that worrying about the civil rights of suspects gets in the way of fighting crime. Instead of doubling down on the hard work that had been done in Chicago, you tried (unsuccessfully) to torpedo Baltimore’s consent decree, which was then at this same public hearing stage."
The editors followed that up with a challenge.
“Mr. Sessions: If you’re so worried about the violence in Chicago, you’ll stop trying to sabotage efforts to repair that trust,” they wrote.
"From afar, you blame a spike in homicides on a 2015 agreement between the city and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois that requires police to document street stops. Its purpose is to make sure those stops are constitutional — not, as you say, to 'undercut proactive policing in the city,'" the piece continued. "Yes, police have made fewer stops since then. Is that because they couldn’t justify them, or because of the extra paperwork? We wish we had an answer. We know you don’t."
"Chicago doesn’t need or appreciate your drive-by assessment," they charged. "We can’t imagine Judge Dow, who has overseen this long and difficult process, will be impressed with it, either."
You can read the whole piece here.