Chicago (CNN)A year after unrest in Ferguson, Mo., brought increased scrutiny of police, FBI Director James Comey has thrown his weight behind the idea that restraint by cops in the wake of criticism is at least partly to blame for a surge in violent crime in some cities.
The tensions over policing and crime come when, for the first time in a generation, unusual political forces have aligned and the nation appears on the verge of relaxing tough criminal sentencing laws. Liberals and conservatives now seem to agree that 1980's-era anti-drug laws boosted U.S. prison populations too much, with the burden falling disproportionately on minority communities.
Some law enforcement officials, including Comey, are raising concerns that a spike in crime -- or at least the perception that the recent era of historically low crime rates is at risk -- could hurt criminal justice reforms efforts.
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