U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks to Baltimore prosecutors
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to federal prosecutors, staff and law enforcement officials Tuesday in Baltimore saying "We're committed to the rule of law."
Sessions was keynote speaker at a ceremony honoring federal prosecutors who handled major cases involving drugs and gangs.
During the ceremony at the U.S. District Court, Sessions spoke briefly about a memo he recently sent to U.S. attorneys nationwide.
In the memo, Sessions urges federal prosecutors to seek
the most severe penalties possible for anyone involved in the drug trade.
But David Rocah, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Maryland, says the memo "takes away discretion that was given to U.S. attorneys by the Obama Administration and removes that discretion, so it's more micromanaging not less."
Roach adds "The impact of the new policy will be felt most strongly with respect to charging and sentencing of low-level, non-violent drug offenders."
Several law enforcement officials attended Tuesday's ceremony including Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and Baltimore County Police Chief Terrance Sheridan.
Commissioner Davis says "The relationships between the U.S. Attorney, the state's attorney in the city and the counties, local law enforcement, the task force officer relationships, those are the on-the-ground, day to day relationships that get this hard work done."
Chief Sheridan says "Listening to the attorney general, he believes in task forcing, he believe in collaboration between state and local law enforcement. When you get that kind of commitment from the man at the top, then you work together, you make a difference."
In congratulating assistant U.S. attorneys who handled major drug and gang prosecutions, Sessions said "I believe this is a battle we can win."
Sessions also praised Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who previously served as U.S. Attorney in Maryland, calling Rosenstein "a strong right arm for me."