Articles

April 30, 2015

 

By Danielle Cralle 

 

After five months of political gridlock, Loretta Lynch was sworn in as the 83rd attorney general of the United States on Monday. She is the first African American woman to hold the title.

 

Due to disputes over a controversial human trafficking bill preventing victims from using restitution funds to obtain an abortion, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell publicly delayed the vote for longer than normal.

 

On Thursday McConnell voted in favor of Lynch and the Senate confirm her, with a 56-43 vote.

 

Qualifications, it seems, were never an issue. Lynch’s resume speaks for itself. She served as a federal prosecutor over the Eastern District of New York two times, serving 8 million people. In this role she prosecuted terrorists planning to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank and the New York subway system.

 

“Lynch’s performance in her hearing was flawless, so much so that senators are not opposing her on her record,” said Dr. Paulette C. Walker, national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. during a telephone conference to drum up support for her election last month.

 

Many notable Black leaders are hoping that Lynch’s stellar qualifications will come in handy during this time of community unrest between Blacks and the police.

 

“In light of the police cases that National Action Network (NAN) is working on in North Charleston, Staten Island, Baltimore, and other cities, as well as voting rights being changed by states all over the country, her confirmation is even more important,” said Reverend Al Sharpton in a statement.

 

Lynch, who oversaw the prosecution of New York police officers who gruesomely assaulted and sodomized Abner Louima in 1997, has a great deal of work ahead of her. In 2014 alone there were at least four high-profile shootings of unarmed Black men at the hands of white police officers.

 

The deaths of Ezell Ford, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others have led to numerous calls for a change in the way police interact with the community.

 

Civil rights organizations, too, are hoping that Lynch puts police reform at the top of her list.

 

“Top priorities for Attorney General Loretta Lynch should include prosecuting killer cops, creating a national database on police use of force, ending federal anti-drug grants that encourage discriminatory policing, and ensuring transparency of law enforcement as they continue to incorporate unchecked forms of high tech dragnet surveillance that disproportionately target black communities,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorofChange.org.

 

For her part Lynch, who received a great deal of support from law enforcement officials, stated during her Senate confirmation hearing that she plans to make strengthening the relationship between police officers and the communities they serve a top priority.

 

While community leaders wait to see what Lynch will do in the coming months, many politicians are charging forward and gearing up to begin work with the newly appointed attorney general.

 

“I look forward to working with Ms. Lynch to build on the important reforms to our nation’s criminal justice system undertaken by Attorney General Eric Holder,” said Rep. Karen Bass (D - Calif.)

 

http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/1-28-15%20Lynch%20Testimony.pdf

Category: News



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