CRT Biweekly Newsletter December 16, 2016

  • Head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta joined Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch for a small group discussion with LGBT Youth at Harvey Milk High School in New York City.  Following the discussion, Attorney General Lynch delivered remarks and said, “This is a great country as you know but it’s only great if everyone gets the chance to participate, if everyone has a chance to be seen for who they truly are.”
  • Attorney General Lynch delivered remarks at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center at an interfaith event on the Justice Department’s commitment to combating hate crimes, explaining that “hate crimes don’t just target individuals.  They tear at the fabric of our communities, and they also stain our dearest ideals and our nation’s very soul.”
  • The Justice Department opened a civil pattern-or-practice investigation into the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
  • The Justice Department issued a resource to protect religious institutions from discriminatory zoning and land use regulations.
  • The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Sterling Heights, Michigan, alleging that the city violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) when it denied special land use approval to allow the American Islamic Community Center Inc. (AICC) to build a mosque on five adjoining parcels of land located in the city.
  • The Justice Department announced that it has entered into a comprehensive agreement with the St. Louis County Family Court to resolve the department’s findings of serious and systemic violations of juvenile due process and equal protection rights. 
  • David Q. Givhan, aka “Premier,” 34, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was convicted by a jury of one count of sex trafficking and three counts of interstate transportation for prostitution.  
  • The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Culpeper County, Virginia, alleging that the county violated RLUIPA when it denied a sewage permit application to the Islamic Center of Culpeper (ICC), effectively preventing the ICC from building a small mosque on land that it had purchased in the county.  The land is located in a zoning district where religious land use is permitted by right. 
  • The Justice Department announced that it has opened an investigation into the conditions at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia.  The investigation will focus on whether the jail violates the constitutional rights of inmates to adequate medical and mental health care; violates the constitutional rights of inmates who have mental illness by secluding them in isolation for prolonged time periods; and violates the rights of inmates who have mental illness by denying them access to services, programs and activities because of their disability.   
  • The Justice Department reached an agreement resolving claims that 1st Class Staffing LLC, a staffing company based in Orem, Utah, discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
  • The Justice Department announced that on Dec. 9, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska ruled in the department’s favor in its breach of contract claim against Nebraska Beef Ltd., a meat packing company based in Omaha.  
  • Vanita Gupta delivered remarks at a White House convening on advancing equity for women and girls of color, explaining that “Across the Obama Administration, we all believe that empowering girls today – providing them a seat at the table and defending their civil rights – will help our country reach its full potential tomorrow.  How we treat women and girls of color, how we lift each other up and how we inspire one another changes lives.  It strengthens families.  And it transforms communities.”

Twitter: @CivilRightsAAG | @CivilRights

Updated December 28, 2016

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