United States Attorney General William Barr, listens to New Orleans Mayor, LaToya Cantrell, during the opening of the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police's 64th National Biennial Conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Convention Blvd. in New Orleans, La. Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (David Grunfeld/The Advocate via AP)

Barr defends police, takes swipe at progressive prosecutors

August 12, 2019 - 1:24 pm
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr is staunchly defended the work of law enforcement officers across the U.S., while taking a swipe at progressive prosecutors he says refuse to enforce the law.

Barr spoke Monday at the Fraternal Order of Police conference in New Orleans.

He lauded efforts in the 1990s to keep chronic offenders behind bars as a way to drastically reduce the nation's crime rate and said the government must have "zero tolerance" for suspects who resist police.

But the tough-on-crime rhetoric puts Barr at odds with today's criminal justice reformers. The view of many in the field has shifted toward rehabilitation instead of incarceration in the last decades.

Barr promised new legislation to swiftly carry out the death penalty for suspects who commit mass shootings or kill police officers.