December 4, 2019

NEW YORK — During formal remarks at the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing, Attorney General William Barr said: “if communities don’t give support and respect” to law enforcement, “they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”

Jeffery Robinson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Trone Center for Justice and Equality, highlighted how those remarks encourage abusive policing in the following statement:

“Support and respect are earned, not given as the result of a demand from those who carry badges and guns. Attorney General Barr is telling communities across the country to bow their heads in respect to police even if those same police are violating their rights and killing people without justification.

This administration has repeatedly made it clear that it is not interested in holding law enforcement accountable. Communities of color around the country are consistently being abused by their police departments without receiving the type of public safety benefits that Attorney General Barr described. Police work for communities, not the other way around. It’s time for increased Congressional oversight of the Department of Justice, and its policy and practices on local policing.”

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