- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday she will work to “make safe the world of cyberspace” and to forge better relationships between police and minority communities.

At a ceremonial installation in Washington, the nation’s 83rd attorney general and first black woman to hold the job said America doesn’t always uphold the protections outlined in the Constitution, but the nation always is working toward that goal.

“Over 200 years ago, we decided what kind of a country we wanted to be,” Ms. Lynch said. “We have not always lived up to the promises made, but we have pushed ever on. And with every challenge, we get a little bit closer.”

Her plate is full, with challenges such as investigating massive cyberattacks against the U.S. and handling simmering tensions between police departments and minority communities that have erupted in violence, such as in Baltimore in April after the death of Freddie Gray, who was injured in police custody.

She pledged “to preserve our national security and our cherished liberties, to make safe the world of cyberspace, to end the scourge of modern-day slavery, and [to] confront the very nature of our citizens’ relationship with those of us entrusted to protect and to serve.”

Ms. Lynch said she hears the “cries for justice” across the country following the recent string of deadly police confrontations with black men.

“Every day, we seem to see an increasing disconnect between the communities we serve and the government we represent,” she said. “But let me tell you what else I see. I see people speaking out in the time-honored tradition that has made this country stronger.”

She tried to address both sides of the issue, after her predecessor, Eric Holder, infuriated some in law enforcement by criticizing police actions in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere.

“In their cries for justice, I hear the belief that it can be attained and they would not cry out if they did not have faith that we would answer,” Ms. Lynch said. “I see more in our law enforcement partners’ quest for support. I hear the guardians call for tools to calm the waters, to keep the peace.”

She added, “To the law enforcement community, I pledge that this department will be your partner as we work to carry out our highest mission, the protection of the people of this great nation.”

President Obama, who attended the ceremony at the Warner Theatre, said the nation has no greater advocate for equality under the law than Ms. Lynch.

“She understands the importance of policing, and improving relationships between law enforcement and communities,” Mr. Obama said. “She went on a six-city tour to spotlight the challenges of community policing, and the progress that’s being made. She understands the importance of criminal justice reform, that we have to be smart on crime, not just tough.”

Ms. Lynch, a former U.S. attorney in New York City, actually was sworn in by Vice President Joseph R. Biden on April 27 after the Senate confirmed her by a vote of 56-43. She waited 167 days for confirmation as Senate Republicans held up her nomination in a dispute over abortion language in a human trafficking bill.

Ms. Lynch was sworn-in this time by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, with a Bible once used by Frederick Douglass. She was accompanied by her parents, a Baptist minister and retired school librarian, and her husband, Stephen Hargrove.

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