'The Office of Sheriff Is a Critical Part of the Anglo-American Heritage of Law Enforcement'
Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered a speech Monday morning to the National Sheriffsâ€™ Association, praising their work and partnership with the Dept. of Justice.
But toward the end the nation's top law enforcement agent appeared to ad-lib a sentence that is rightly drawing wide condemnation.
"Since our founding, the independently elected Sheriff has been seen as the peopleâ€™s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and amenable to the people. The Sheriff is a critical part of our legal heritage," Sessions, according to remarks released by the DOJ, was supposed to have said.
That's not what he said, as this video shows:
"The office of Sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office" : Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking at the National Sheriff's Association winter conference in DC. @vicenews pic.twitter.com/gPS6AbkS30â€” Tess Owen (@misstessowen) February 12, 2018
"Since our founding, the independently elected Sheriff has been the peopleâ€™s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process," Sessions said, holding to his prepared remarks. "The office of Sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement."
Anglo-American in its most basic form is basically a way of saying "white American." Technically, Anglo-American refers to people of English ancestry.
â€œAnglo-American law is another term for common law â€“ which is the legal system that we use (as opposed to say, Napoleonic Code used in France) and is derived from the system of law that originated in England,â€ Justice Dept. spokespersonÂ Ian Prior told Talking Points Memo.
He also added a smug and entitled rebuttal:Â â€œThat said, I am confused as to why this is a story that you would need a comment on.â€
TPM notes "some local Southern sheriffs historically worked to enforce segregation and crack down heavily on civil rights movements in the spirit of the 'heritage' that many modern white nationalists cite."