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Acknowledgment of receipt of complaint with notification that you will investigate it.
Mr. Edward Complainant
Re: Complaint Number 0000-00-000
Dear Mr. Complainant:
This letter is to notify you that we have received your complaint against the Anycity Police Department (APD) and are initiating an investigation of your allegations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, you allege that, on October 16, 1997, Officer Fineguy stopped you in your car because he said he suspected you of drug trafficking. You state that he handcuffed you, searched your car, and told you that "people like you don't belong on this side of town." You feel that the only reason that be stopped you is because you are African-American. You also allege that it is well known in the minority community that APD officers stop minority drivers without justification if they enter white neighborhoods in the City.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin in federally funded programs and activities. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) enforces Title VI and other civil rights statutes and investigates complaints against recipients of financial assistance from DOJ. The Department's recipients include police departments, sheriff's departments, State departments of correction, and other entities. The Anycity Police Department is a recipient of assistance from DOJ and, therefore, Title VI applies.
[If you do not already have a consent form: Enclosed are two copies of our Complainant Consent/Release form concerning the Privacy Act of l974 and the Freedom of Information Act. Please review this form and decide whether you wish to release your identity. By giving consent, you agree that your identity as a complainant and personal information about you may be revealed in the course of the investigation, and that the Department of Justice may receive personal information concerning you. If you do not agree to release your identity, this decision may limit or prevent any investigation or action and, thus, will result in the closure of your complaint. Please complete one of the forms and return it to this office within 30 days of your receipt of this letter. You may retain the other copy for your records.]
In instances in which you want to advise the complainant that he or she may need to seek assistance of a private attorney to ensure individual relief that you might not be able (or want) to seek for him, such as overturning an arrest:
You should note that the Department's investigation represents the interests of the United States and the Department does not represent you individually. Our primary goal is to ensure nondiscrimination by recipients of financial assistance from the Department and remedial action will be negotiated principally with this goal in mind. This relief may be consistent with your interests; however, you may wish to consult with private counsel of your choosing to determine what, if any, relief you may be entitled to receive through private litigation.
You should be aware that no one may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or engage in other discriminatory conduct against anyone because he or she has either taken action or participated in an action to secure rights protected by the nondiscrimination statutes we enforce. Any individual alleging such harassment or intimidation may file a complaint with the Department of Justice. We would investigate such a complaint if the situation warrants.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, it may be necessary to release this document and related correspondence and records upon request. In the event that we receive such a request, we will seek to protect, to the extent provided by law, personal information which, if released, could constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
Ms. Investigator Outstanding, the investigator assigned to this case, will be contacting you in the near future to schedule an interview with you [by telephone]. We will keep you informed of the progress of our investigation. If you have any questions, please contact
Ms. Outstanding, at (202) 123-4567 (Voice) or (202) 123-6789 (TDD) (these are not toll-free numbers). Please reference the complaint number cited above in all future correspondence or contact with this office.
Federal Coordination and Compliance Section
Civil Rights Division
This page was last updated on February 07, 2001