WASHINGTON – Today, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers Jr. (MI-13), Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01) released the following joint statement after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced commencement of a separate, new civil rights “pattern and practice” investigation into the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department for possible discriminatory misconduct:
“The Justice Department’s decision to initiate a pattern and practice investigation of the Ferguson Missouri Police Department that we previously requested sends a signal that review and relief for substantive complaints about the quality of policing in the community is on the way. The Department’s additional decision to engage the St. Louis County Police Department in the COPS technical assistance program is further evidence of the Attorney General’s commitment to remedy the root causes of the unrest triggered by the tragic shooting of Michael Brown.
Experience has shown that these federal programs have the ability to transform the operations of state and local police departments, opening vital lines of communication and improving public safety. While the Department cannot be everywhere at once, we hope that the cooperation exhibited by local leaders in St. Louis County will encourage other law enforcement agencies to avail themselves of these and other similar federal programs to address their own policing issues and stopping tragedies like the Michael Brown shooting before they occur.”
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On August 11, 2014, Representatives Conyers, Fudge and Clay issued a letter to the DOJ that requested a full investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown and to consider opening a “pattern and practice” investigation into the Ferguson police department’s law enforcement tactics.