U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Oklahoma City today, one day after he was grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee about his ties with Russia during President Trump's Campaign and about withholding money to so-called sanctuary cities.
Sessions had a much friendlier audience today: the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association. Sessions addressed a broad range of topics including the opioid epidemic, violence against police officers and the prison population.
"And despite the national surge in violent crime and the record number of drug deaths over the past two years, there is a move for even lighter sentences in federal court," Sessions said.
He took shots at criminal justice reform and the kinds of bills proposed here in Oklahoma to reduce the prison population.
"Truth is, the problem we face today is not a sentencing problem. It's a crime problem. If we want to bring down our prison population we need to bring down crime," Sessions said.
A couple dozen demonstrators protested outside, some taking a knee as Sessions motorcade passed.
“Sessions has been on the wrong side of justice for a long time. He has a history of being a racist," said Garland Pruitt with the NAACP
Rose State Student Bailey Walker said, "He believes that not good people smoke marijuana. He's very for the war on drugs, which I know has targeted minority people largely and put them in prison for much longer than is necessary."
Sessions would not answer reporters’ questions after his speech.