Attorney General William Barr bashed progressive district attorneys taking office around the country, a group that includes Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins, by calling decisions to decline prosecutions “demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety.”
Barr, speaking Monday to the Fraternal Order of Police conference in New Orleans, didn’t mention Rollins by name, instead referring broadly to lefty prosecutors elected in big cities where Rollins, along with Philadelphia’s Larry Krassner, have campaigned and taken office with controversial lists of offenses their offices will default to not prosecuting as standalone charges.
For Rollins, that includes drug possession, theft, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Barr lambasted such decisions from these prosecutors, saying, “Once in office, they have been announcing their refusal to enforce broad swathes of the criminal law. Most disturbing is that some are refusing to prosecute cases of resisting police. Some are refusing to prosecute various theft cases or drug cases, even where the suspect is involved in distribution. And when they do deign to charge a criminal suspect, they are frequently seeking sentences that are pathetically lenient. So these cities are headed back to the days of revolving door justice.”
Barr, per his DOJ’s transcript of the comments, added, “The results will be predictable. More crime; more victims.”
President Trump’s AG also said the decisions of “district attorneys that style themselves as ‘social-justice’ reformers, who spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law” are “demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety.”
Rollins’ office wouldn’t comment on Monday. She won a crowded Democratic primary last September before cruising to victory in the November general election against an independent candidate.
Rollins and her supporters say the crimes she won’t prosecute are charges that criminalize poverty and mental illness.
She’s also aimed to cut down on federal immigration enforcement in courthouses, instructing her staff to let her know when ICE agents are nearby and to factor immigration status into prosecutorial decisions.
She and Middlesex DA Marian Ryan are moving forward with a federal lawsuit against ICE that would forbid them from enforcing immigration laws in courthouses.
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