CRT Biweekly Newsletter December 9, 2016

  • Marcus D. Washington of Knoxville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance; and possession with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance.  
  • Atlanta Police Sergeant Trevor King, 48, of Rex, Georgia, was charged by a federal grand jury with violating the rights of a man by using excessive force against him on Oct. 13, 2014.
  • Head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta delivered remarks at the division’s annual awards ceremony.  She spoke about the division’s history dating back to the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and explained that “Congress created this division to tackle the toughest issues, to serve as an independent and forceful agency of justice and hope.  You cannot be an agent of change without a deep reservoir of hope.  It’s the hope that men and women today can build a more just, more inclusive and more free future for the children of tomorrow.  It’s the hope that thanks to all of you in the Civil Rights Division, people will reap the benefits of this work for generations to come – in safer streets, in desegregated schools, in fair markets and in stronger communities.  It’s the hope that despite the zigs and the zags of our nation’s history, you will continue to ensure that America marches forward, imperfectly yet inexorably.”
  • The Justice Department and the government of Honduras announced a formal partnership to protect workers from discrimination based on citizenship, immigration status and national origin. 
  • The Justice Department announced that the developers of six multi-family housing complexes in southern Mississippi have agreed to pay $350,000 to settle claims that they violated the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by building apartment complexes that were inaccessible to persons with disabilities.  As part of the settlement, the defendants also agreed to make substantial retrofits to remove accessibility barriers at the six complexes, which have nearly 500 covered units.
  • After a five-day trial, a federal jury found Justin Cole Whittington, 25, of Bakersfield, California, guilty of federal hate crimes for firing a shotgun while yelling racist slurs at a Latino man.
  • The Justice Department reached an agreement with the Watson Chapel, Arkansas, School District to ensure that the district does not discriminate on the basis of race in its administration of school discipline.  The consent order, approved by the District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, will replace the use of punitive discipline with more positive approaches as part of an overall focus on improving student achievement and school climate. 

Twitter: @CivilRightsAAG | @CivilRights

Updated December 28, 2016

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