AG Sessions disputes DOJ findings on Chicago police abuse

AG Sessions disputes DOJ findings on Chicago police abuse
© Greg Nash

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsCurtis wins Chaffetz's former Utah House seat Overnight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny FBI can’t unlock Texas shooter’s phone MORE is disputing Justice Department reports about police misconduct in Chicago and Ferguson, Mo., according to an ABC News report.

Sessions said the findings in the report were "pretty anecdotal and not so scientifically based,” though he also said that he had read summaries rather than the full documents.

"You have 800,000 police in America. Imagine a city of 800,000 people," Sessions said. "There's going to be some crime in it, some people are going to make errors."

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The Chicago report found “systematic deficiencies” in policing, in addition to "racially discriminatory conduct.” The investigation included interviews with current and former officers and more than 60 ride-alongs with police officers in each district.  

“The department … heard from over 1,000 community members and more than 90 community organizations; reviewed thousands of pages of police documents, including all relevant policies, procedures, training and materials; and analyzed a randomized, representative sample of force reports and the investigative files for incidents that occurred between January 2011 and April 2016, including over 170 officer-involved shooting investigations and documents related to over 400 additional force incidents,” the Justice Department said in a press release when it originally released the report.

The report on Ferguson, where mass protests in 2014 followed the deadly shooting of unarmed Michael Brown, discovered racial prejudice and the use of excessive force by police.

The Ferguson report culminated in the city agreeing to a consent decree that established new rules around policing. Chicago is currently negotiating its own agreement with the Justice Department.

Prior to his confirmation as head of the Justice Department, Sessions received the backing of multiple police groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police and the National Association of Police Organizations.

Sessions's 1986 nomination to a federal judgeship was derailed by accusations of racism, which reappeared during his fight to win confirmation as attorney general.