Appealing to the Blue Lives Matter crowd on Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the office of sheriff a "critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement."
According to CNN, the statement was made during remarks to law enforcement in Washington. Sessions told the National Sheriffs Association, "I want to thank every sheriff in America. Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people's protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process. The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement."
The remark seems to have been a last minute change with the original statement reading, "The sheriff is a critical part of our legal heritage."
"We must never erode this historic office," Sessions added after assuring the organization that they have the support of the Department of Justice and former reality star Donald Trump.
A spokesperson for the DOJ, Ian Prior, added that the term "Anglo-American law" is common among lawyers and legal scholars.
"As most law students learn in the first week of their first year, Anglo-American law — also known as the common law — is a shared legal heritage between England and America. The sheriff is unique to that shared legal heritage. Before reporters sloppily imply nefarious meaning behind the term, we would suggest that they read any number of the Supreme Court opinions that use the term. Or they could simply put 'Anglo-American law' into Google," Prior said in a statement.
In 2016, it was reported that the FBI had been warned of white supremacists within law enforcement. And, in 2017, The Intercept reported that bureau policies had been crafted to investigate the presence of domestic extremist within law enforcement.