CRT Biweekly Newsletter April 15 2016

  • U.S. Attorneys are joining forces with local law enforcement and community leaders for a series of events around the country to address backlash against Muslim, Arab, Sikh and South Asian Americans following the tragic terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris and San Bernardino, California.  The 14 events in 11 districts will build on both the Justice Department’s prosecutorial work in countering post-September 11th backlash, as well as its outreach efforts, including the new interagency initiative to combat religious discrimination throughout the country.
  • The Justice Department announced that it has closed its investigation into the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC) following significant improvements made by PDOC to its policies and practices that are intended to protect prisoners with serious mental illness and intellectual disabilities from the harmful effects of solitary confinement. 
  • Former Augusta State Medical Prison correctional officers John Williams, Antonio Binns and Justin Washington were charged in the Southern District of Georgia with a civil rights violation for their alleged role in the beating of an inmate in February 2014.  Binns and Washington were also charged with one count of obstruction of justice.
  • Head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta delivered remarks at the D.C. Access to Justice Commission’s Raising the Bar event.  She highlighted how, “too many dedicated legal aid providers simply lack the funds and the lawyers to serve everyone in need.  As members of the legal profession, each of us has a professional responsibility, and indeed a moral imperative, to address this challenge.”
  • Two defendants were sentenced to prison for their role in a forced labor scheme that exploited Guatemalan minors at Ohio egg farms.
  • Vanita Gupta delivered a keynote address about the use of force in policing at the NYU School of Law Center on the Administration of Criminal Law’s Eighth Annual Conference.  She highlighted how, “Whether officers or chiefs; whether advocates or academics; and whether prosecutors or private citizens – we want to reduce deadly encounters.  We want to keep families whole.  We want to respect human dignity.  We want to support and strengthen officer safety.  And we want to rebuild trust between police and the communities they serve.”
  • We filed a lawsuit and consent decree to resolve allegations that Pain Management Care P.C., of South Bend, Indiana, refused to treat an individual because he has HIV, in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • A former St. Louis Metropolitan Police officer pleaded guilty to depriving an arrestee of his civil rights by assaulting him while he was handcuffed.

Twitter: @CivilRightsAAG | @CivilRights

Updated December 28, 2016

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