Attorney General Sessions brings tough-on-crime message to Memphis

by Micaela Watts | May 23, 2017 12:56 pm

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will speak to local, state, and federal law enforcement officials at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Clifford Davis Federal Building in downtown Memphis, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Sessions’ speaking engagement with law enforcement will focus on efforts to combat violent crime in Memphis. In a speech last month, the attorney general included Memphis in a list of cities (including Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis) where violent crime was on the rise.

Recent numbers from the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission show a slight uptick in violent crimes in the first quarter of 2017 as compared to this time last year, but the overall trend of violent crime has steadily trended downward since 2006 — the first year the commission began gathering crime-related data.

Source: Memphis Shelby Crime Commission

In February, Mayor Jim Strickland announced that the crime commission would give the city $6.1 million for police bonuses. Neither Strickland nor the commission will say which private donors gave the money to the commission.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, secured the attorney general position in spite of a contentious nomination process that drew attention to several allegations of racism in Sessions’ past.

Where do we go from here?

This article first appeared on MLK50: Justice Through Journalism.

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