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Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at Meeting with President Biden and Members of New York Gun Violence Strategic Partnership


New York, NY
United States

Remarks as Delivered

Thank you, President Biden.

As the President said, the Justice Department is doubling down on the fight to protect our communities from violent crime, and from the gun violence that often drives it. But we are not doing this work alone.

As the President also said, what you see in this room represents the core of our efforts: our partnerships, which are essential to success in disrupting violent crime.

Yesterday, when the President and I spoke with the mayor on the telephone, the mayor talked about the importance of the excellent cooperation he is seeing between the city, state and federal law enforcement agencies who are represented here.

At the Justice Department, we know that the best anti-violent crime strategies are tailored to the needs of, and are developed by and in partnership with, individual communities.

That is why all of our Justice Department law enforcement agencies, and all 94 of our United States Attorneys’ Offices — including the two represented by the United States Attorneys who are here today — are working with their partners in state and local law enforcement to develop and implement district-specific anti-violent crime policies.

We also know that, while many of the public safety challenges our cities face require this tailored approach, gun violence is a universal challenge and one that demands comprehensive action.

That is why, as the President said, the Justice Department is taking action to crack down on ghost guns and to hold those who illegally sell firearms to criminals accountable.

That is why we are strengthening our firearms trafficking strike forces to disrupt the pipeline that floods our community with illegal guns.

And that is why we are sparing no resource in identifying and holding accountable the repeat offenders who are the major drivers of violent crime.

As we work in partnership with state and local law enforcement, we are also working in partnership with the communities most affected by this violence.  

Shortly, President Biden and I will be meeting with leaders of a community violence intervention program here in New York. In 2021, the department provided over $37 million in grant funding directly to community violence intervention efforts, and we will expand this work in the year ahead.

The Justice Department will use every tool at our disposal to protect our communities.

We will hold perpetrators of violent crime and gun violence accountable; we will work alongside the communities most affected by that violence; and we will work together to build the public trust that is essential to public safety.

Before I close, I want to note that — in times of crises both large and small — the American people look to law enforcement to help.

And every day, officers, like those who are with us here, answer the call without hesitation. Despite the difficulty and the danger, they show up. They put their lives on the line.

That is what Detective Jason Rivera and Detective Wilbert Mora did. There are no words I can offer that could capture their bravery, or the pain that has been inflicted on their loved ones.

What I can say is at the Justice Department, we will seek to honor Detectives Rivera and Mora in the work we do to help keep our law enforcement officers safe, as we work to keep our communities safe.

I will now turn the program over to Mayor Adams. Thank you.

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated February 3, 2022