Tens of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to peacefully protest racial inequity in law enforcement. Above, protesters in downtown Miami on May 31.

Tens of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to peacefully protest racial inequity in law enforcement. Above, protesters in downtown Miami on May 31. Tverdokhlib/Shutterstock.com

Black DOJ Employees Demand Action on Police Reform: We 'Will Not Be Silent'

Employee group calls for "swift action against bias, discrimination and misconduct" and condemns forceful action against peaceful protestors.

A group of black employees at the Justice Department has issued a statement calling on department leaders to take more proactive measures to reform police and hold accountable those acting unlawfully. 

The statement, from the DOJ Association of Black Attorneys, also condemned any retaliation or forceful law enforcement action against peaceful protestors that have taken place across the country in the wake of police killing George Floyd, an unarmed black man. Justice has, with some controversy, deployed personnel from all of its law enforcement components to quell the protests. All department employee organizations, including DOJ Association of Hispanic Employees for Advancement and Development, DOJ Gender Equality Network, Justice Native American Association, DOJ Pan Asia Employees Association and DOJ Pride, announced their support for the statement. 

“George Floyd’s death reminds us yet again that the ongoing inequitable treatment of Black Americans demands structural and systemic improvements within the American justice system,” the group wrote. “This country’s history of racial violence and intimidation as well as pervasive implicit bias still permeates cities, towns, local police forces, prosecutors’ offices, and the day-to-day interactions of all Americans. DOJABA will not be silent.”

The black attorneys association said it supports Justice’s civil rights investigations into the death of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, but called on the department to take additional actions. 

“One cannot address the ‘bad apples’ without focusing on the tree from which they fell,” DOJABA said of the police officers involved in the killings. The group noted the department has the authority to mandate action from local police forces, something the Trump administration has backed away from under a push from then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

"We encourage the department to continue to pursue police reform agreements that address the use of force and discriminatory policing on the basis of race or national origin, develop community partnerships within local police units, change use of force policies, increase diversity training and hiring, implement measures to reduce implicit bias, suspend federal funding for police departments found to have engaged in discriminatory practices, incorporate civilians into police training and use-of-force review, and enforce body camera usage. And we strongly encourage the prosecution of law enforcement officers who blatantly disregard the Constitutional rights of Black Americans to the fullest extent possible under federal law."

The group noted that Attorney General Bill Barr has “rightly observed” that the video of Floyd’s death is harrowing: “When you watch it,” they quoted Barr as saying, “and imagine that one of your own loved ones was being treated like that, and begging for their lives, it is impossible for any normal human being not to be struck in the heart with horror.”

They noted, however, the incident for them was less theoretical. 

“For DOJABA members, it does not take harrowing images or painful videos to imagine the same fate,” they wrote. “Incidents like George Floyd’s murder reinforce the constant fear that we—or our loved ones—will experience such horror while going to the store, sitting in one’s home, or jogging.”

The employees highlighted their support for the department’s Community Oriented Police Service (COPS) Office and the Office of Justice Programs, and called on it to reform prosecution policies that "can serve as a further check on discriminatory policing practices and counteract mass incarceration."

“We hope that every member of the department will take this time to reflect on how our work affects communities of color and recommit to securing equal justice for Black Americans and all marginalized groups,” the group said. “We should take swift action against bias, discrimination, and misconduct when it occurs.”

The employees also stressed their support for protestors who have taken to the streets en masse to demand reforms to policing and criminal justice. 

“We, as Black Americans, stand on the shoulders of those who were killed, beaten, hosed, and threatened by vicious dogs while protesting for basic civil rights,” they said. “They, too, were told that the rule of law may justify the use of force against them. Still, they marched. In that spirit, DOJABA urges respect for the countless peaceful protestors across this nation and opposes any violence or use of force against them by law enforcement officers.”

The group noted that Barr said during his confirmation hearing that the nation’s “freedom is most secure when we respect everyone else’s freedom. DOJABA said it will demand “the freedoms of Black Americans are mutually respected, unhampered by police misconduct, and equally protected under the law.” 

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.