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Obama’s AG in Alabama Wednesday for community policing tour

Image c/o Flickr user Douglas Palmer
Image c/o Flickr user Douglas Palmer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.– U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is in Birmingham Wednesday during a stop on her nationwide “community policing” tour, raising awareness for a new Obama administration initiative.

Lynch began her visit to the Magic City with the Birmingham Youth Citizens Police Academy. She then met with Birmingham Chief of Police A.C. Roper and spoke to cadets at the Birmingham Police Academy. In addition to Chief Roper, Lynch is joined by U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance of the Northern District of Alabama.

While in the Yellowhammer State, Lynch will also visit the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and tour the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

During her remarks to the Birmingham Police Academy, AG Lynch said the Justice Department is reviewing the tragic Charleston Shooting, saying that hate crimes are the “original domestic terrorism.”

The newly-confirmed Attorney General’s tour comes in the aftermath of President Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force report, which resulted in a new initiative called My Brother’s Keeper (MBK).

The program’s website states MBK is, “A collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of our young people, including boys and young men of color.”

Despite the millions of dollars the initiative has been allotted, President Obama maintains it is not a new government program.

As part of Obama’s MBK, the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, a $4.7 million program, was announced in April by the Department of Justice. The initiative will local police forces partner with officials from the federal government to provide advice and training in multiple areas concerning the division between citizens and law enforcement.

Birmingham is one of six pilot cities in the nation chosen to participate in the program.

While police officers have come under extreme scrutiny from the media, politicians, and disgruntled citizens, some are making sure their appreciation for those cops who help protect them is known. In May of this year, Crawford Broadcasting launched the “Props to Cops” campaign that seeks to give Alabamians an opportunity to express their support for the police.

Leland Whaley, Crawford Broadcasting’s Birmingham Station Manager said that, “This war on police is not about justice, it’s about politics.”

The Props to Cops Program partners with local businesses to provide free or discounted services or products to police officers.

“Police have to get up every day, put on a badge and risk their lives. There’s such a hostile environment right now and they’re being targeted by political opportunists. It’s time to defend our defenders and show appreciation to our police,” Whaley said.

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