AG Sessions Orders Review of Police Reform
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the Justice Department to review all police reform activities happening in the country including consent decrees with police forces. In a memo released on Monday, Sessions said that his order also includes task force participation, compliance reviews, grant making and collaborative prosecutions and investigations. The directive could impact consent decrees in cities like Baltimore and Chicago where those departments have released documents outlining shortfalls in police performance and community interaction. Sessions has expressed ambivalence about mandating widespread change of local law enforcement agencies. The Trump administration has been public with a pro-police agenda when it comes to fighting crime.
Jay-Z Praises Proposed Shutdown of NYC’s Rikers Island
Hip-hop impresario Jay-Z was among those encouraged when he heard the plan announced on Friday to close New York’s notorious city jail at Rikers Island. The jail which houses 10,000 inmates also held Kalief Browder for three years while he awaited trial on charges that were dismissed. He committed suicide as a result of the trauma he suffered there. Jay-Z has said that he hopes his documentary “Time: The Kalief Browder Story” inspired changes to the facility. “You guys watching and your compassion made this happen,” he tweeted. “Thank you.”
NCAA to Consider North Carolina Again for Future Events After HB2 Repeal
Last week’s legislative rollback of North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill” targeted at transgender individuals spurred the NCAA to “reluctantly” bring the state back under consideration for future championship events. Last year, the association ordered the relocation of the events to other states because of the HB2 law. Its leaders say they are satisfied that the chance meets their requirements. “This new law has minimally achieved a situation where we believe NCAA championships may be conducted in a nondiscriminatory environment,” the NCAA said in a statement. “If we find that our expectations of a discrimination-free environment are not met, we will not hesitate to take necessary action at any time.”
100 Dead in Syria Chemical Gas Attack
A chemical attack in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province is being described as the worst ever in its six-year civil war. At least 100 people were killed and another 400 injured in the attack on Tuesday. Witnesses say jets operated by the Russian and Syrian governments carried out the assault. Photos and video emerging from Khan Sheikhoun, which lies south of the city of Idlib, the provincial capital, show limp bodies of children and adults. White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that President Donald Trump is “extremely alarmed” by reports of the attack and said it was “reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world.” But he also blamed the Obama administration saying the former president “did nothing” in the wake of previous chemical attacks in Syria.