Protesters gather as AG Sessions speaks on LI gang violence

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions was met by protesters questioning his motive behind his Long Island visit on Friday. United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions was met by protesters questioning his motive behind his Long Island visit on Friday.
CENTRAL ISLIP -

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions was met by protesters questioning his motive behind his Long Island visit on Friday.

Scores of demonstrators gathered outside the federal court building in Central Islip, concerned that Sessions is using the recent wave of gang killings on the Island to forward President Donald Trump's administration's tough stance on illegal immigration.

"I really think that he is going to use this gang issue to justify just rounding up random people that are here," said Michelle Terrell, of Bay Shore.

There was a small group of counter-demonstrators supporting the attorney general and his promise to crack down on gangs in the community.

Karen Nicholas, of Central Islip, says gangs are constantly threatening kids and that increased local policing has not yet made a difference.

Demonstrators on both side of this issue were kept far away from where Sessions was speaking, having been moved to the back of the federal court building. But they still said they believe their message will be heard.

One person who did the see the protesters was U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford). He said Sessions' visit was not about immigration, but about showing that the full weight of the federal government is working to eradicate MS-13.

"They should be on their knees thanking him, not out there protesting him," King said.

Suffolk police said the demonstration was peaceful and that no arrests were made.

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