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Current and former prosecutors respond to Barr's 'concerning' comments on progressive DAs
Dozens of current and former prosecutors and law enforcement officials signed a letter calling recent attacks by Attorney General William Barr on progressive district attorneys "deeply concerning."
In a speech to the Fraternal Order of Police last weekend, Barr blasted unnamed DAs who have declined to prosecute some nonviolent offenses as "anti-law enforcement."
"We join this public statement to make clear that a growing number of criminal justice, law enforcement and prosecution leaders reject AG Barr's perspective; we do not view our jobs as waging a 'war' against 'criminal predators,'" the signatories wrote.
The letter notes that crime remains at historic lows, with violent crime cut nearly in half over the past 25 years, a change data indicates cannot be attributed to an increase in incarceration.
"Our nation is on the road to meaningful and lasting criminal justice reform - as reflected in the bipartisan passage of the First Step Act and other changes sweeping the country. It is not the time for a return to fear-driven narratives that find no foundation in fact," the letter states.
"We hope that Attorney General Barr and other national leaders will understand what facts, data and lessons learned from the past have taught us as we work to wisely use limited criminal justice resources to promote safer and stronger communities," it adds.
Signers of the letter include Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner (D), Cook County, Ill., State's Attorney Kim Foxx (D), Suffolk County, Mass., DA Rachael Rollins (D), New York County DA Cy Vance (D), and William Lansdowne, the former chief of the San Diego, San Jose and Richmond, Calif., police departments.
Barr's remarks came the same week that U.S. Attorney William McSwain put out a blistering statement blaming "vile rhetoric" from Krasner for a gunman's nonfatal shooting of six Philadelphia police officers. McSwain has also falsely claimed violent crime has "skyrocketed" since Krasner was elected in 2017.