>> Attorney General Jeff Sessions.>> US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday signaling what could be a new era in American policing, or a return to an older way of doing things. Citing a recent rise in violent crime after a long, historic decline, the country's top law enforcement official warning that, without vigilance, dangerous times could lie ahead.
>> I do not believe, and maybe I'm wrong, but I do not believe that this pop in crime, this increase in crime, is necessarily an aberration, a one-time blip, I'm afraid it represents the beginning of a trend.>> While 2015 saw a nearly 11% increase in murders nationwide, criminal justice experts point out murder and violent crime rates remain near historic lows in the US, and it's too early to determine a trend.
But Sessions' warning a major about-face at the Department of Justice in the era of President Donald Trump. Under President Barack Obama, the DOJ took major steps toward criminal justice reforms, commuting the sentences of non-violent drug offenders in federal prisons, and opening investigations into local police departments accused of racial bias.
>> We've undermined the respect for our police, and made oftentimes their job more difficult. And it's not been well-received by them and we're not seeing the kind of effective community-based, street-based policing that we found to be so effective in reducing crime.>> Police reform advocates warning that less oversight and a greater tough on crime approach will only inflame already fraught relations between American police and the communities they're sworn to protect.