U.S. Senator Coons questions AG Sessions about Wilmington crime

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee peppered Attorney General Jeff Sessions with questions about the investigation into Russian influence in the election and the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program.

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware asked about Sessions’ recusal from the Russian investigation before turning attention on violence in Wilmington.

“My hometown of Wilmington, Delaware is seeing not just a surge but a record high level of shootings and homicides and while our local law enforcement is doing everything they can, I would welcome the chance to work with you on deploying more federal resources,” Coons said.

Sessions pointed towards the updated “Project Safe Neighborhood” program that targets gun crimes and funds new federal and state prosecutors, and also develops community outreach efforts.

“We have statistics that prove those policies have worked, crime is actually dropped where they’ve been implemented,” Sessions said. “I’m confident— I don’t want to be over confident— I don’t know how strong this rise in crime is- but i think we can make a difference and I’m determined to do so.”

Coons responded by describing the challenges Wilmington faces.

“The combination of the opioid crisis, the easy availability of guns, and some other factors is making it particularly tough in our community, and I’d welcome partnering with you on that.”

More than 170 people have been shot in Wilmington so far this year, there have been 27 homicides.

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