JammedUp News


President Trump orders crackdown on drug trafficking and anti-police violence

February 10, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
President Trump orders crackdown on drug trafficking and anti-police violence

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

After vowing to start “a new era of justice,” President Trump signed a string of executive orders on Thursday that detailed his administration’s top crime-fighting targets: international drug traffickers, assaults against police officers, illegal immigration, and a recent surge in violent crimes.

“America faces many challenges. We face the menace of crime, the threat of deadly terror, and it’s not getting better,” Trump said prior to signing the orders and swearing in the man who will carry out his plan, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “But it will soon.”

Sessions warned that the uptick in crime was “a dangerous permanent trend,” a statement that researchers claim is not supported by data. Murders and violence increased in 2015, but remain at historic lows, NBC News reported.

The first of Trump’s executive orders focuses on international drug cartels, blaming them for the rise in overdose fatalities “and a corresponding rise in crime related to drugs” — a connection that experts in drug policy said is challenging to explain.

Although it does make sense to go after drug cartels, they noted that it was a stretch to believe that a crackdown on them would significantly reduce crime in the U.S.

They also explained that it is oversimplified to blame cartels on the rise in drug deaths when the opioid epidemic is linked to the spread of prescription narcotics.

“There’s huffing and puffing, and I’m not sure what he’s blowing down,” Peter Reuter, a University of Maryland criminologist, stated.

Harold Pollack, the co-director of Crime Lab at the The University of Chicago, said there is limited support that “transient” shifts in enforcement strategies have influenced street crime.

An effective drug policy needs to incorporate a “more humane” approach to addiction, Pollack continued.

The second of the orders signed by President Trump pays additional attention toward prosecuting those who “commit or attempt to commit crimes against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement.” It directs Sessions to use existing legislation to do so but to also suggest new ones that may determine “new crimes of violence” against officers — or establish new mandatory-minimum sentencing requirements.

John Pfaff, a professor at Fordham University School of Law, said he was surprised by another provision of the order that requests making sure that federal grants appropriately support and protect law enforcement.

That, Pfaff said, seems to be “an attack” on the FBI’s plans to collect data on police shootings, an effort that grew out of a country-wide uproar over police use of lethal force.

President Trump said that police have been unjustly targeted and has pointed to a recent increase in the number of officers that have been killed in the line of duty.

However, those assertions appear to have disregarded reports that show that, over the long term, police officers are safer.

Pollack added that the importance of officer safety should be balanced with attempts to calm tensions between police and minority communities that protest police mistreatment.

Trump’s third order directs Sessions to establish a task force on crime mitigation and public safety, with a focus on illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime. The purpose is to distinguish how existing laws fall short and what new laws are necessary.

The emphasis on illegal immigration aligns with Trump’s more comprehensive national security goals. However, in relation to crime reduction, prioritizing illegal immigration appears “odd,” Reuter added.

Immigrants who are illegally in the U.S. are not responsible for a large portion of American crime, he continued.

Get the latest news from the world of crime