• Protesters object to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions visit in Memphis

    By: Greg Coy

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions visit to Memphis drew dozens of protesters angry at his policies for fighting crime and past statements they consider racially insensitive.

    Activist made their disgust known for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions both visible and vocal.  

    They believe his visit and meeting state and local law enforcement was wrong union organizer Antonio Cathey told FOX13.    

    "So why come to Memphis? To give this tactic or this talk about the good reasons why he can help fight crime in the city of Memphis? Poverty is the reason for crime," said Cathey.

    Protestor had asked the mayor and police director not to attend the meeting with the attorney general.

    Mayor Strickland did and asked the nation's top prosecutor for resources to fight gangs and efforts to better train his police department. 

    "There is a lot of things the mayor could be asking the federal government for resources, but saying that he is going in there to ask for resources for the gang unit shows that his focus is on to continue to imprison black and brown bodies," said Tammi Sawyer, a local activist.

    No attorney general is universally welcomed in most major cities and urban communities.   Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney General under President Obama, received criticism during his visit to Memphis when he held the office.    

    Attorney General Sessions visit to Memphis comes at a time when there are strained relations between the police, the black lives matter movement, and others still angry at the death of Darrius Stewart and a lawsuit alleging police engaged in surveillance of critics of the Strickland Administration.  

    Activist Hunter Demster told FOX13, “Memphis being a 70% black city and Jeff Sessions being a known racist, a Trumpian, he is a symbol of hate." 

    Sessions held a private meeting with about a dozen representatives of the faith based community in the Memphis area, but the activist's protesting outside the federal building never got a chance to meet him.

    "I call on all Memphians to join this fight of resistance. For the betterment of the lives of black and brown and all people," said Sawyer.

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