Leon Ford says U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has 'white supremacist agenda'
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."
'The office of Sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office' : Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking at the National Sheriff's Association winter conference in DC. @vicenews pic.twitter.com/gPS6AbkS30— Tess Owen (@misstessowen) February 12, 2018
@jeffsessions could have said Common Law but saying Anglo Saxon instead is a shout out to a certain base— Xochitl (@Xochitlome) February 12, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions' comment regarding sheriffs and "Anglo-Saxon" law derive from an early 1970s white nationalist tendency known as the Posse Comitatus. Here's some important background to help understand why the comments are so disturbing. https://t.co/IjripfVwN3— WesternStatesCenter (@WStatesCenter) February 13, 2018
When people holding power, like Jeff Sessions, claim they want to reinstall 'traditional American values,' thats' a direct appeal to an era when White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) landowning men monopolized power. Let's be clear here.— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) February 14, 2018
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.