Dems probe DOJ's handling of civil rights violations by law enforcement

Dems probe DOJ's handling of civil rights violations by law enforcement
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A group of Democrats sent a letter to the Department of Justice Tuesday regarding the agency's handling of potential civil rights violations by law enforcement.

“Despite continuing concerns from civil rights and community-based organizations, the Department has sharply curtailed its statutory role in identifying and eradicating civil rights abuses by law enforcement," the lawmakers, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTrump knocks Mueller after deal struck for him to testify House Democrats request briefing on Epstein, Acosta Nadler apologized after repeatedly calling Hope Hicks 'Ms. Lewandowski' at hearing MORE (D-N.Y.) and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassBooker prison reform bill would give older prisoners a 'second look' House Democrats request briefing on Epstein, Acosta House panel weighs easing federal marijuana laws MORE (D-Calif.), wrote.

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"Excessive force in police-civilian encounters presents a crisis of trust throughout our nation. Changes to Department policy and failure to uphold the law run the risk of undermining federal oversight authority in this space."

"Accordingly, we write to request information related to the manner in which the Department of Justice is currently carrying out its statutory responsibilities to eliminate patterns and practices of unconstitutional conduct in law enforcement agencies.” 

The letter asks for information related to the handling of consent decrees and complaints, communications related to former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions Senate bid Judiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates MORE’s memos regarding consent decrees and an update on all current investigations into use of force by police departments, among other things.

Consent decrees are court-enforced agreements often used to create change within local police departments accused of civil rights violations.

Reps. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenTed Cruz blasts Tennessee GOP governor for declaration honoring early KKK leader GOP senator presses Instagram, Facebook over alleged bias in content recommendations Pro-impeachment Democrats say Mueller testimony could be 'turning point' MORE (D-Tenn.), Mary Gay ScanlonMary Gay ScanlonGOP leader, Ocasio-Cortez give boost to lawmaker pay hike Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage The Memo: Trump allies see impeachment push backfiring on Democrats MORE (D-Pa.), and Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeO'Rourke says he and his wife are descended from slave owners Reparations bill gains traction in the House Senate Democrats wish talk on reparations would go away MORE (D-Texas) also signed on to the letter.