Black lawmakers to DOJ: Probe police shootings
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Black lawmakers urged Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Thursday to launch Department of Justice (DOJ) probes into two recent police-involved shootings.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) hand-delivered a letter to the agency requesting probes into the separate incidents in Charlotte, N.C., and Tulsa, Okla.


“We’ve come a long way in America, but we still have a long ways to go,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said in a press conference outside the DOJ.

“Exhibit A is the police violence epidemic that engulfs the land. The Department of Justice must step in and do its job so we can turn around this situation once and for all.”

Charlotte experienced its second night of protests Wednesday, after a black man was shot and killed by a black police officer the night before.

Officer Brentley Vinson fired at Keith Lamont Scott, 43, during a confrontation at an apartment complex.

Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher, 40, during a traffic stop in Tulsa last week.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on Thursday said the DOJ must hold law enforcement accountable for using excessive force.

“The community says, 'What if the law is not obeying the law?' " he said. "I want to know, will the criminal justice system from top to bottom make sure police obey the law?

“When violence erupts, everyone wants to point the finger. But who’s going to do something right now to prevent police violence? It’s time to stop. We’ve had enough.”

Lynch on Thursday said the DOJ is monitoring both shootings but is not ready to investigate either.

“With respect to the recent police shootings, we are looking at all of them,” she said. "This is a matter of great concern to the Department of Justice.

“Every case is different, so I’m not going to be able to outline for you what would make us do a full investigation in Charlotte or when they might occur.”

Lynch added that demonstrations such as those that turned violent Wednesday night in Charlotte are counterproductive to easing tensions.

“I urge those responsible for bringing violence to these demonstrations to stop,” she said.

“You’re drowning out the voices of commitment and change,” Lynch said. "You’re ushering in more tragedy and grief in our communities.

“Finally, I urge all Americans to ask themselves what they can do to contribute to the more peaceful, the more perfect union that is our shared heritage.”

Multiple high-profile shootings this year have sparked national debate over the relationship between police and minority communities.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Even the Post Office is political now | Primary action tonight | Super PACS at war Should Biden consider a veteran for vice president? Biden leads Trump by nearly 40 points in California: poll MORE on Wednesday called the Charlotte and Tulsa incidents “intolerable.”

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE, her Republican counterpart, said the same day that Americans must come together to prevent such “tragic” situations.