Why Is DOJ Lawyer Aiding Iowa In Black Transgender Murder Case?


In January, two men, Jaron Purham and Jorge Sanders-Galvez, were charged with first-degrree murder.

Sessions's approach has confused LGBT rights advocates.

As a Republican senator, Sessions opposed expanding the federal hate crimes statute to protect people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Jeff Sessions' Department of Justice dispatched an experienced federal hate crimes lawyer to Iowa after a transgender high school student was murdered a year ago, in a move that seems to go against his record on civil rights.

Christopher Perras, an attorney for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, is being tasked as county prosecutor in the murder case of Kedarie Johnson, a 16-year-old Burlington, Iowa student who was fatally shot in March 2016, the New York Times reported. "This is just one example of the attorney general's commitment to enforcing the laws enacted by Congress and to protecting the civil rights of all individuals", DOJ spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement.

The Justice Department seldom allocates its lawyers to provide services as parochial prosecutors, and only in cases in which they can offer proficiency in areas that the federal government views as important.

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He also said DOJ would focus on hate crime cases involving transgender individuals.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is bucking his image as an anti-LGBT crusader by sending a top federal hate crimes lawyer to help prosecute a man on trial for the shooting death of gender-fluid teen Kedarie Johnson. "I personally met with the department's senior leadership and the civil rights division to discuss a spate of murders-a number of murders around the country of transgendered [sic] individuals". Sessions has repeatedly criticized the LGBTQ movement, and his Justice Department has defended employers who discriminate against their queer employees multiple times in the past. "While it is of course good that D.O.J.is aggressively pursuing this case, it would behoove Sessions to connect the dots between his policies that promote discrimination and hate that can result in death", she told the Times.

LGBTQ rights nonprofit Lambda Legal has since condemned Sessions, arguing Sessions feigns interest in civil rights issues to mask his disdain for them.

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Mr. Sessions a faithful conservative is dispatching an indication that he has made precedence of battling violence against transgender people independently even as he retrenched legal immunity for them collectively.