Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is taking heat from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and top cops in her home state, after comments she made about the criminal justice system.
What did she say?
Speaking at Dillard University in New Orleans on Aug. 3, Warren said, "The hard truth about our criminal justice system: It's racist. I mean, front to back."
The event was hosted by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond. Warren gave examples to the audience at the historically black college, citing the disproportionate arrests of African-Americans for minor violations.
How did law enforcement respond?
Law enforcement officials in Warren's home state slammed the senator for her remarks. Yarmouth Police Chief Frank G. Frederickson took to Facebook with a response to Warren, saying her comments were "an insult to the hard working men and women of the Yarmouth Police Department as well as other Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies who are part of the criminal justice system."
He continued, "additionally there are many District Attorneys, Judges, Probation Officers, Parole Officers and other parts of the system she slapped in the face."
The same social media post included the contents of a letter Massachusetts Chief of Police Association President Steven J. Wojnar sent to Warren. Chief Wojnar wrote that he was "extremely troubled" by the lawmaker's statement, telling Warren, "labeling the entire criminal justice profession as 'racist' spreads false and damaging information about our members."
"When our elected officials make generalized and inflammatory statements about our entire profession, without any information to back their position, it creates further hostility toward our officers and can damage the positive relationships with our residents that we have worked long and hard to establish," Wojnar added.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed Warren's comments Thursday, calling her statement "a slander of every law officer and every prosecutor in America."
"And frankly," he said, "I think it is an insult to their families and to the crime victims they have helped to face their attacker."
Warren responded to the criticism of her remarks in a statement to the Boston Globe over the weekend, where she clarified, "I spoke about an entire system — not individuals — and will continue to work on reforms to make the criminal justice system fairer."
According to the Globe, the senator told reporters at a town hall event on Saturday, "The entire law enforcement system has a lot of good people who get up every day and try to make this a more just, a more fair, more responsive system. And they say over and over, the system needs reform. It needs change."