The US Department of Justice accused the Louisville Police Department of violating civil rights

Memorial to Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sept. 25, 2020. EDUARDO MUNOZ (Reuters)

Louisville police are racist, use excessive force, allow dogs to bite suspects after they surrender, conduct searches based on flawed search warrants, abuse kicking and punching to overcome resistance, and finally consistently violate the law first and fourth amendments to the Constitution. that protect freedom of expression and the rights of citizens against actions by agents. The list of complaints is broader and comes from a report from the US Department of Justice presented in the capital Kentucky (population 628,000 in the 2021 census) by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who this Wednesday condemned to the press: “This behavior undermines their mission and their relationship with the community they are supposed to protect and serve. You are unacceptable. Heartbreaking”.

The 90-page report, detailing one police brutality after another — beatings, racial discrimination and the mentally ill, abuse of means such as strangulation to reduce prison population — was commissioned two years ago following the deaths of incarcerated officers in March 2020. black hospital worker Breonna Taylor during a botched drug enforcement operation that ended in tragedy in the apartment where the 26-year-old lived. Taylor became one of the icons of the protests that erupted across the country under the auspices of the Black Lives Matter movement that year after George Floyd suffocated under the weight of a knee in a white uniform named Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis two months later.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday in Louisville, Kentucky, with Vanita Gupta (left) and Kristen Clarke. LUKE SHARRETT (AFP)

For the authorship of the document, which concludes that “the metropolitan police employed an aggressive style, which it used selectively, primarily against blacks, but also against other vulnerable groups,” the Justice Department interviewed hundreds of officers and victims about their riots, reviewed camera shots bodysuits that official police officers are required to wear while on duty. Those images, the report said, show officers insulting people with disabilities, throwing drinks at passersby from their patrol cars and using racial swear words such as “monkeys,” “animals” or “children” to refer to black people. citizens.

Garland addressed those three insults during his presentation on Wednesday, selecting one sentence from the 90 pages that he says summarizes the findings. It was spoken by a senior agent who has taken refuge in anonymity: “Breonna Taylor was a symptom of problems we had for years [en las fuerzas de seguridad de Louisville]“.

In the case of Taylor’s murder, the Justice Department had to step in to clear responsibility. His investigation into what happened that night revealed that the three officers involved in the search quickly “took steps to cover up their crimes”; including lying to the FBI. Also that “they asked for a warrant to search the apartment even though they knew there was no reason to search”. The officers were charged in August with violating the victim’s civil rights.

“In most of the harassing incidents we investigated, supervisors reviewed the behavior in question but did not conclude that officers were at fault,” said the report, which estimates police paid $40 million in money to bury them. the past six years.

In the case of Taylor’s murder, the Justice Department had to step in to clear responsibility. His investigation into what happened that night revealed that the three officers involved in the search quickly “took steps to cover up their crimes”; including lying to the FBI. Also that “they asked for a warrant to search the apartment even though they knew there was no reason to search”. The officers, acquitted by a grand jury, were indicted by the department led by Garland last August for violating the victim’s civil rights.

The presentation of the report was attended by Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg, who pledged to “correct the mistakes of the past” and asked that his conclusions “not be politicized.” “It’s not about politics or anything else. This is Louisville we are talking about… We will move forward with reform until we can get our security forces to comply.

Given recent episodes of police brutality, such as the fatal beating of African-American Tire Nichols in Memphis by five black police officers in January, Greenberg’s proposed change doesn’t appear to be the last. The Justice Department has launched similar investigations in places like Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Mount Vernon, New York, Phoenix and Worcester (Massachussets).

Source: La Neta Neta

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