Trump tackles attacks on police, drug cartels in new orders

"I'm signing three executive actions today created to restore safety in America", President Donald Trump said during an announcement in the Oval Office.

One executive order announced Thursday directs the Justice Department to define new federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing ones, to further protect local and federal officers from acts of violence.

The first he said, would "break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth".

Trump said the third memorandum directs DOJ to "stop" violent crime against law enforcement officers.

Another order calls for the creation of a task force to reduce violent crime - even though the murder rate has declined sharply in recent decades - and a third is aimed at dismantling global drug cartels.

'It's a shame what's been happening to our great, truly great police officers.

Yes, it's true that violent crime rose by about 4% in 2015 and by 5.3% in the first six months of 2016, according to preliminary data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, largely because of increases in large cities.

During his swearing-in ceremony, Sessions spoke on a perceived spike in crime, which he sees as "a risky, permanent trend that puts the health and safety of America at risk".

Trump's Thursday executive actions keep with his campaign trail pledge to be a "law and order" president and promises to crack down on crime, support law enforcement officials and remove criminals who entered the United States illegally.

If you were wondering, yes, there was total disregard for black and brown people who have been the target of law enforcement brutality and an unjust prison sentences for nearly a century.

Mr Trump has blasted the ruling suspending his order, labelling the Seattle federal judge who issued it as a "so-called judge" and branding the courts "disgraceful" and politicized.

"We need to enforce our laws and we have to make the consequences of drug trafficking a deterrent", Sessions said in a March 7 speech.

"The relationship between the police and community is the single most determinate of police effectiveness", he said, noting that community-based policing and better integration is what drove crime down to its historic low levels in recent years. That group is tasked with "develop [ing] strategies to reduce crime" and proposing new legislation "to improve public safety and reduce crime". In fact, despite seeing the largest single year uptick in more than 40 years, the country's murder rate in 2015 remained lower than it was in 2009. Trump has stressed the danger facing police officers, though he has given little attention to the violence and killings enacted by law enforcement against unarmed citizens.

The final executive order focuses on transnational criminal organizations including drug cartels, gangs and human smuggling operations, and calls for "a comprehensive and decisive dismantle these organized crime syndicates and restore safety for the American people".

  • Leroy Wright