MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Minnesota Monday, speaking to the National District Attorneys Association in Minneapolis, telling the meeting of prosecutors that crimes are up — and violent crimes up significantly — in part because of the erosion of family and discipline.
Singling out Minneapolis as an example of a place where crime is getting worse, he said crime in Minnesota’s largest city is up every year for the last six years.
“Through the first half of this year, the preliminary data shows that violent crime is up 17 percent and homicides are up over 40 percent from this time last year,” Sessions said.
But that’s not what the Minneapolis Police Department reports. The actual numbers show violent crime is up slightly, about 4 percent, not 17 percent. And homicides are up 5.8 percent, not 40 percent.
Coincidentally, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is the new president of the National District Attorneys Association. He’s glad for Sessions’ visit, but he says the attorney general’s comments on crime numbers are wrong.
“Crime numbers can be played with in lots of different directions. Some people try to do it on a monthly basis, and that’s simply not accurate,” Freeman told reporters. “They move all over the place all the time. You really have to look over a longer period of time, and generally they have come down most every year for the last 10 years.”
The attorney general also asked local prosecutors to cooperate with the Trump administration to fight illegal immigration, and said he’s stepping up enforcement of immigration crimes.
“The people of this country have been pleading with their leaders for decades for a lawful system of immigration that serves our national interest and in which we can take pride,” Sessions said. “Our goal is not to reduce illegal immigration but to end illegal immigration.”
Freeman is on record against that kind of partnering. He called immigration a federal, not state, issue.