Attorney General William Barr at the Fraternal Order of Police conference in New Orleans, on Monday, Aug. 12, defended law enforcement officers and promised to speed up new legislation against convicted mass murderers in response to the two shootings earlier this month that left scores dead in Texas and Ohio.
In his speech, the attorney general praised the work of police officers while expressing concerns over people who “lose the values and moral discipline to control themselves” that led to increased social pathology in the country.
“The Framers believed that a free society can only exist if the people have the personal virtue and self-restraint to control their own worst passions and appetites,” he said.
Barr, who has a long-term vision for tough-on-crime policing, decried a growing disrespect for police that would increase “toleration of the notion that it is somehow OK to resist the police.” He said while underscoring a “20 percent increase in assaults against police, up to about 60,000 per year” from 2014 to 2017.
Barr said that the administration will not tolerate violence against police and do all “to protect the safety of law enforcement officers.” The administration has been working to develop strategies and measures, that provide legislation in cases of mass murder or murder of a law enforcement officer, including death penalty.
Last month, Barr directed the federal government to reinstate the death penalty for the first time in nearly two decades in order to seek justice against the worst criminals and bring relief to victims and family members.
The attorney general also blamed progressive district attorneys who “style themselves as ‘social justice’ reformers” for spending “their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law.”
Though facing these reformers who favor rehabilitation instead of incarceration, Barr asserts his hard-line stance in combatting violent crime and dangerous drugs, saying, “We will be doubling down on our attack on violent crime. We will be expanding our efforts against gun violence and violent gangs.”
Barr also said there should be more of an appreciation for the work of law enforcement officers.
“I would like to see the American people gain a renewed appreciation of the noble work done by our police officers in protecting our communities,” he said. “The “thin blue line” is getting thinner.”