Outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the federal government has a mandate to hold police officers accountable for their actions.
“You’ve got to hold police accountable, you’ve got to help them hold themselves accountable, and you’ve got to build in community accountability,” she told the Associated Press in an interview published Saturday.
Lynch also said that relationships between the Justice Department and local law enforcement had improved.
Her comments come a day after the Justice Department released a scathing report on the Chicago Police Department’s civil rights violations, the Hill reported.
Lynch, who was sworn in as attorney general in April 2015, took charge during a period where there was much criticism about police practices in black communities, and she made it a department priority to go after civil rights violations.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, plans to change the focus of the Justice Department to highlight issues such as national security and immigration.
Lynch’s tenure as attorney general has been marked by massacres by violent extremists, hacking attempts from overseas, and an election season investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Lynch also drew criticism for an unplanned meeting with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Phoenix.
Lynch said she wished she had never met Bill Clinton on the tarmac, Breitbart reported.