The Daily Northwestern: Duckworth releases statement criticizing Sessions’ opposition of CPD reform

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Wednesday condemned Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that he will oppose a decree to reform the Chicago Police Department.

The decree followed a 200 page report by the Department of Justice, which investigated CPD after the shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2016. McDonald was shot by a white police officer, Jason Van Dyke, who was convicted of second-degree murder on Friday.

In her statement, Duckworth criticized the Trump administration for being “out of step with the needs of the people of Chicago and Illinois.”

She said in the statement that the administration has been “withholding federal violence prevention funding in order to force the implementation of misguided and counterproductive policing strategies to urging the use of long-discredited and likely unconstitutional ‘stop and frisk’ tactics that only hurt community relations and make stopping crime harder.”

Sessions filed a “statement of interest” announcing that the Justice Department would oppose the decree. Although the statement is not a legal document, it establishes the Trump Administration’s stance on the issue.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also criticized Sessions for opposing the decree. Duckworth called Sessions’ announcement “counterproductive.”

“(It) is yet another item in a long list of counterproductive efforts from an Administration that seems more focused on pandering to its base with hateful policies than actually reducing crime and improving police relations with the communities they serve,” Duckworth said.

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