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Leon Ford says U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has 'white supremacist agenda'

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
Leon Ford who was paralyzed after being shot by police on Nov. 11, 2012 speaks at Policing in America: A Civilian's Perspective at the 15th Annual Forensic Science and Law Symposium, BEYOND BALTIMORE: Bridging Public Safety and Social Justice in the Policing of America's Streets at Duquesne University on Nov. 12, 2015.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Leon Ford who was paralyzed after being shot by police on Nov. 11, 2012 speaks at Policing in America: A Civilian's Perspective at the 15th Annual Forensic Science and Law Symposium, BEYOND BALTIMORE: Bridging Public Safety and Social Justice in the Policing of America's Streets at Duquesne University on Nov. 12, 2015.

Leon Ford, who was shot and paralyzed by Pittsburgh police during a 2012 traffic stop, wrote in an editorial published this week that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is using his office "to promote a white supremacist agenda."

"Sessions' mention of Anglo-Americanism as separate from other aspects of American heritage was obviously intended to celebrate only white sheriffs and police officers," Ford wrote in an editorial published on Gizmodo Media Group website The Root .

Ford's editorial, "Why I, a Survivor of Police Violence, Find Jeff Sessions' Remarks So Disturbing," delves into why he felt Sessions' remarks at the National Sheriffs' Association meeting on Feb. 12 were "the latest in a long string of examples demonstrating his use of the attorney general's office to promote a white supremacist agenda."

The Justice Department declined to comment on Ford's editorial, according to media affairs specialist Lauren Ehrsam.

Toward the end of his appearance, Sessions strayed from the Justice Department's prepared remarks to note that "the office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement."

In mid-January, the city of Pittsburgh settled a civil suit brought by Ford for $5.5 million.

The Ford case polarized the community, prompted demonstrations and became a main topic during public meetings between police brass and residents.

A jury cleared one officer and deadlocked on excessive force charges against another in Ford's civil-rights lawsuit.

Read the editorial at The Root .

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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