With Civil Rights Charges, Justice Dept. Signals Priorities
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is sending a strong signal about its priorities these days.
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In just over the past two weeks, the department has opened investigations of police in Louisville, Kentucky, and Minneapolis.
Federal prosecutors have charged four former Minneapolis police officers with civil rights violations in George Floyd’s death, and accused three men of hate crimes in the death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.
In both criminal cases, authorities moved forward with federal charges before most of the defendants have gone to state trial.
Attorney General Merrick Garland is making good on his confirmation promise to refocus the department around civil rights.
During the Trump administration, such investigations waned.