LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Attorneys with the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice visited with members of the community Friday at the weekly meeting of the “Bishops Table”, held by Bishop Dennis Lyons at Gospel Missionary Church.
Lyons invited the two attorneys. The meeting started a year ago with the help of Louisville Metro Police Lt. Col. Steve Healy, who was also there.
They gave more insight into their civil rights investigation into LMPD and what they are looking for.
"We want to hear from people," said DOJ Attorney Suraj Kumar. “Whether you have good experiences or bad experiences because we want whatever we find, if we find there's going to be legal violations, if we find that there aren't legal violations, we want that to be based on the facts. And we want that to be based on the experiences that people have on a day-to-day basis with LMPD officers,” said Kumar.
The DOJ is looking at possible federal constitutional violations to see if there is a larger pattern or practices underway, including:
- the use of excessive force
- unlawful traffic stops
- searches and arrests
- discrimination based on race
- how police handle protests and freedom of speech
- how police and Metro Government treat those with mental health disabilities
“That's the kind of thing we're trying to figure out. The more you talk to us, the more we're figuring out the department and trying to understand the dynamics of it," said Kumar.
The DOJ launched the investigation more than a year ago. They said the investigation won’t reach back decades, instead, focusing on incidents and practices within the last few years.
So far there is no time frame on when the conclusions will be presented to the public as they are still conducting interviews across the city.
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