Wednesday, May 15, 2019

JUDICIARY: Nadler, Bass & Judiciary Dems Probe DOJ Policing Policies & Handling of Pattern and Practice Investigations Nationwide

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Chairwoman & Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-CA) and several House Judiciary Committee Democrats sent a letter, below, to the U.S. Department of Justice to probe the handling of consent decrees and pattern and practice complaints, to request communications related to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ memos regarding consent decrees, and to request an update on all current investigations into use of force by police departments in the U.S., among other things.

In their letter, the Members wrote, “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.  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 is signed by Chairman Nadler, Crime Subcommittee Chairwoman Bass, Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Chairman Steve Cohen (D-TN), House Judiciary Committee Vice Chair Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

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