Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 5, 2009
Justice Department Launches Investigation into Federal Crimes in Connection with the Murder of Dr. George Tiller

The Department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas have launched a federal investigation into federal crimes in connection with the murder of Dr. George Tiller. The federal probe will consist of a thorough review of the evidence and an assessment of any potential violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) or other federal statutes. The federal investigation will be conducted in close coordination with the Office of the Sedgwick County, Kan., District Attorney, and the state's ongoing murder prosecution will have the full support of federal investigators.

The FACE Act was enacted by Congress in 1994 to establish federal criminal penalties and civil remedies for violent, obstructionist or damaging conduct affecting reproductive health care providers and recipients.

"The Department of Justice will work tirelessly to determine the full involvement of any and all actors in this horrible crime, and to ensure that anyone who played a role in the offense is prosecuted to the full extent of federal law," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "We will conduct a thorough investigation that will complement and build upon the fine work of the Sedgwick County District Attorney and other state and local law enforcement agencies."

Following the May 31, 2009, murder, the Attorney General directed the U.S. Marshals Service to offer protection to appropriate people and facilities around the country. The U.S. Marshals Service has moved expeditiously to implement the Attorney General’s directive with the assistance of the reproductive health care service providers and organizations throughout the country.

In an effort to coordinate the federal government’s efforts in response to the shooting of Dr. Tiller, the Civil Rights Division recently convened a meeting of the National Task Force on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Providers, an interagency law enforcement working group that includes attorneys from the Civil Rights Division and the Criminal Division, and law enforcement officials from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. This task force was established more than a decade ago to commit resources to the reduction of threats and violence against health care providers on a national level.

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