Attorney General Jeff Sessions drew outrage and condemnation Monday when he referred to the “Anglo-American heritage” of U.S. law enforcement. Sessions made the remark in a speech to the National Sheriffs’ Association’s winter conference in Washington, D.C.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office.”
A spokesperson for the Justice Department defended Sessions’s comment, saying that the phrase “Anglo-American law” is commonly used by lawyers and appears in opinions from the Supreme Court. In a statement, the NAACP called Attorney General Sessions’s remarks the “latest example of dog whistle politics,” adding, “His stances at DOJ regarding their reversal of support for cases against voter suppression, his attempt to withdraw from consent decrees to [rein] in police misconduct, and the decision to return to policies including mandatory minimums that played a key role in the expansion of mass incarceration, are powerful examples of why communities of color must pay attention to what he does and what he says.”