October 14, 2016 – U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch talked to members of the university community about criminal and social justice yesterday during a conversation series focusing on the political and policy issues that have shaped the nation during the Obama Administration.
Lynch said community relations among police has become the leading issue of the day during The Exit Interview conversation moderated by NPR’s Emmy Award-winning journalist Michele Martin, who has joined the university in past discussions on issues of racial justice.
“[Community relations policing] encapsulates so many issues about not just criminal justice, but justice overall,” Lynch said before a large Gaston Hall audience, “and not just the criminal justice system, but the legal system and not just the connection to the courts, but the people’s connection to government at large.”
Lynch’s talk was the second of a six-part series, sponsored by the McCourt School of Public Policy’s Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics), that is designed to explore policy successes and challenges in the current administration and give advice to the next president.
The conversation came the same day the U.S. Justice Department announced that the FBI is expected to launch a federal pilot program to collect data on police-involved shootings and other incidents of lethal and non-lethal force by 2017.
The announcement of the data collection was proposed in the aftermath of multiple racially charged police encounters that have shined a spotlight on the issue over the past two years – including the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody in Baltimore.
“The issue looks different to different people, but the day I was sworn in was the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral,” Lynch recalled, “and that was the first night of violence in Baltimore.”
National Security Advisor Susan Rice opened the series on Sept. 15 with a conversation about foreign policy achievements and called for more collaboration among nations.
The next Exit Interview, which takes place Oct. 26, will feature U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Other upcoming guests include Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew (L‘83).