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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 NadlerThis week: Congress races to wrap work for the year Top Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn MORE (D-N.Y.) and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Pressure grows on California governor to name Harris replacement 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 SessionsTime to bring federal employees home for every holiday Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Tuberville incorrectly says Gore was president-elect in 2000 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.

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