Speaking during an event at the White House Wednesday afternoon, Attorney General Bill Barr explained in detail the important role federal law enforcement has played in significantly reducing violent crime around the country.
"The first duty of government is to protect the safety of our citizens. And we're here to explain the initiative to combat rising violent crime in a number of our cities. Our goal is to help save lives. The principle danger to the lives of our inner city communities is violent crime. The leading cause of death for young black males is homicide. Each year approximately 7500 black Americans are the victims of homicide. Every one of those lives matter," Barr said.
"In 1992 violent crime, nationwide, was double what it is today and it was at that time that federal law enforcement turned its attention to this kind of violent crime. Before that, the federal government didn't really play that much of a role in it," he continued. "But we started to attack violent crime in conjunction with state and local government. It was at that time, for example, that the FBI set up its gang, anti-gang task forces throughout the United States and we started using our strong federal laws that permit us to target those that use guns to kill others and those that are involved in gang activity. Our approach was to set up anti-violent crime task forces in the cities to enforce federal law and take the shooters and the chronic violent criminals off the streets. We helped pay for state and local officers to join these task forces so we could leverage our strength and this approach was extremely successful in the intervening decades in driving crime down."
Barr also explained how the recent vilification of law enforcement has led to a significant increase in violent crime in cities across the country.
"At the end of the Obama administration crime started going back up again and for the first two, two and a half years of this administration we were succeeding in pushing it down," Barr said. "We had this extreme reaction that has demonized police and called for the defunding of police departments and what we have seen then is a significant increase in violent crime in many inner cities. This rise is direct result of the attack on the police force and the weakening of police forces."
Barr's remarks come as the Mayor of Chicago, with violence in her city raging out of control, refuses to accept federal help. Last night alone, 15 people were shot outside of a funeral home.