Sessions Responds to Warren Calling Justice System 'Racist'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions / Getty Images
August 13, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called out Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) during a speech in Georgia on Thursday after the senator said the U.S. justice system is "racist."

Sessions described Warren's comments as a "a slander of every law officer and every prosecutor in America." He added, "And, frankly, I think it is an insult to their families and to the crime victims they have helped to face their attacker."

"And so this slur isn’t just wrong.  It’s sad," Sessions said. "This idea that police can be maligned all the time by political leaders and that there can be no consequences is not true."

Warren made the comments during a Q&A session hosted by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, at Dillard University in New Orleans.

"The hard truth about our criminal justice system, it’s racist. And when I say our system, I mean all the way.  I mean front to back…on the front end—what you declare to be illegal—[and] on how you enforce it, on who gets arrested," Warren said.

The Massachusetts Democrat was later confronted about her comments at a town hall, where a young man compared her divisive rhetoric to that of President Donald Trump.

"You say Donald Trump undermines the justice system but it highly concerns me that you made a blanket statement that the over 400 judges of color, thousands of law enforcement officers of color, and even the new black Police Commissioner of Boston are racist," he said. He then asked the senator if she intended to paint the entire justice system as racist.

"I didn't call any individual anything. What I was talking about is a system that has a lot of good people in it," Warren responded. "[Those people] have dedicated their lives to getting out there to try to build a justice system that works and who themselves have come forward and said, ‘this system needs reform. It needs significant reform.'"