AG Sessions Visits St. Louis To Speak On Violent Crime In America

US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions
AG Sessions Visits St. Louis To Speak On Violent Crime In America

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session visited St. Louis on Friday

ST. LOUIS, MO/March 31, 2017 (STL.News) Sessions spoke to members of law enforcement along with state and community leaders about the surge in violent crime in America in recent years.  During his speech at the Thomas Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, the Attorney General began by citing the great strides in reducing violent crime in the past four decades.

First, we should remember some context.  In the past four decades, our nation has won great victories against crime.  Overall, crime rates remain near historic lows.  Murder rates are half of what they were in 1980.  We have driven the violent crime rate down to almost half of what it was at its peak.  The good people of St. Louis have seen this progress firsthand: In 2013, the violent crime rate here was less than half of what it was at its highest point 20 years before.” Sessions said.

The Attorney General warned that the spike in violent crime in recent years could continue if steps aren’t taken.

My fear is that this surge in violent crime in St. Louis, and throughout America, is not a “blip,” but the start of a dangerous new trend.  This increase risks losing the hard-won gains that have made our country a safer and more prosperous place; gains that were made on the backs of the brave men and women in uniform.” Sessions warned.

The latest FBI data shows that from 2014 to 2015, violent crime rate in the U.S. increased by more than 3 percent. This marks the largest one-year increase since 1991.   The murder rate increased 10 percent, marking the largest increase since 1968.

The murder rate in St. Louis is also up.  St. Louis had 188 murders in 2016, matching the same number of murders in 2015.  That’s up compared to 2014, where St. Louis had 159 murders.

Sessions also correlated the increase in violent crimes to the nation’s heroin and opiod epidemic.

Our nation is in the throes of an epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse.  According to the CDC, heroin-related overdose deaths have more than quadrupled since 2010.  On average, about 140 Americans now die each day from a drug overdose.  That means every three weeks, we lose as many American lives to overdoses as we lost in the 9/11 attacks.” said Sessions.

Sessions added, “Unfortunately, the people of St. Louis know this problem all too well.   Last year, 256 people in this city died from an opioid overdose.   That is almost double the total from the previous year — and more than the number of murders during that time

Sessions recommends three ways to fight this problem: criminal enforcement, treatment programs, and prevention.

We need criminal enforcement to stop the transnational cartels that smuggle drugs across our borders, and the thugs and gangs who use violence and extortion to move their product.   One of the President’s executive orders directed the Justice Department to dismantle these organizations — and we will do just that.” said Sessions.

Following his speech, Sessions met with members of law enforcement in a closed door meeting.

Jill Enders
About Jill Enders 121 Articles
Jill Enders is an award winning journalist. She is the proud recipient of the 2015 Missouri Broadcaster's Association award for Best News Series. Jill won this prestigious first place award for her piece “Ferguson Year In Review” she wrote, produced, and voiced for KTRS radio, where she also currently works as an anchor, reporter, and writer. Over the past twenty years, Jill has worn many hats in the broadcast industry. She has worked as a D.J., field reporter, production director, copy writer, airborne traffic reporter, anchor, and news bureau chief. Jill has covered a wide variety of high profile stories during her career, including the Flood of '93, presidential debates, and the Ferguson Crisis. Jill also has acted in TV, film, and stage. Her experience as an actress allows her to provide her acting students with a practical insight of the entertainment industry. Jill is a native St. Louisian and a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.