Making good on the Trump administration’s pledge to promote a Blue Lives Matter agenda, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday issued a new directive for federal prosecutors to “charge suspects with the most serious offense you can prove,” reports CNN.
Sessions outlined the order in a brief one-page memo (pdf), which represents a dramatic departure from Obama-era criminal justice reform measures. “The most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences,” Sessions states in the memo.
The announcement was criticized by prominent social justice advocates like Khary Lazarre-White, executive director and co-founder of Brotherhood/Sisterhood Sol, a Harlem-based youth development program that supports criminal justice reform.
“The directive from AG Sessions that prosecutors seek mandatory minimums and the most harshly possible sentences is the embracing of a failed and discredited approach to law enforcement that is immoral and does not result in safer communities or rehabilitated people,” said Lazarre-White, who hosted a star-studded fundraising gala in Manhattan on Thursday that drew stars, including actors Jeffrey Wright, Bobby Cannavale and Michael K. Williams; artist Carrie Mae Weems; New York Times columnist Charles Blow; actress Rose Byrne; and Khary’s brother, actor Adam Lazarre-White.
The Advancement Project, a nonprofit group that focuses on racial justice issues, posted a tweet, calling the directive an attack on people of color.
Other Twitter users also slammed the directive, highlighting the nation’s racist history of using prisons to oppress Black and brown bodies.
Other users noted that the directive could work in favor of federal investigators currently engaged in probing the Trump campaign’s alleged involvement in Russiagate.
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