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Pre-findings Letter of Resolution
Mr. Edward Complainant
Re: Complaint Number 0000-00-000
Dear Mr. Complainant:
This letter concerns the complaint you filed against the Anycity Police Department with the Department of Justice under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In your complaint, you alleged that on October 16, 1997, Officer Fineguy stopped you in your car because he said he suspected you of drug trafficking. You stated 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 assert that, following this incident, you attempted to file a formal complaint about your treatment with the Police Department, but were told that you would have to file it in person during the day at the Police Department's Headquarters office. You indicated that you were unable to do so, because you could not miss work during the day.
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.
Following our receipt of your complaint and our discussion of your allegations with you, we contacted the Anycity Police Department to notify it that you had filed this complaint. Based upon the information we provided, Chief of Police Charles Headcop stated that he would look into the matter immediately and would take whatever steps were necessary to resolve your complaint and ensure that such a situation would not occur again in the future.
On January 22, 1998, the Police Department forwarded a report to us outlining the steps it has taken to investigate and resolve your complaint. Chief Headcop stated that the Department had contacted you and interviewed you and the other party who was riding with you at the time of the incident. He also indicated that the officer in question, Officer Fineguy, has acted in an inappropriate manner with another citizen in the past and, because of your allegations, has been suspended without pay for three days. He has also been placed on probation for one year and will attend training in community relations and police procedures. The Department has issued a statement to all Police Department staff reconfirming its policy that all members of the public are to be treated with respect at all times and reminding them that failure to comply with this policy will result in disciplinary action.
With respect to your allegations that you were told you could not file a complaint about your discriminatory treatment, Chief Headcop explained that the staff member with whom you spoke when you called the Department on October 16 was a new temporary clerk. The Department does not require that complaints be filed in person; they may be filed by mail, over the telephone, or in person, and may also be filed by a person on behalf of another. The statement issued to all Department staff, discussed above, also reiterated this policy. The Department has taken steps to ensure that any temporary staff will be provided this information in the future.
On January 24, we spoke with you and you confirmed that you and your companion had been interviewed by the Police Department. You also stated that you have received a letter of apology and explanation from the Chief of Police and that you are satisfied with the Department's letter. [Note: It is not necessary that the Complainant agree with the resolution that has been provided. If you determine that the steps taken have provided a legally sufficient resolution, i.e., what you would seek if the allegations were shown to be true, you may close the case with a Letter of Resolution.]
Based upon our determination that the Anycity Police Department has taken the appropriate steps to resolve this complaint, we have closed our files in this matter as of the date of this letter. [If you are dissatisfied with this determination, you may be entitled to file a private complaint in the appropriate United States District Court.]
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.
If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Investigator Outstanding, the investigator assigned to this case, who can be reached 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.Sincerely, Merrily A. Friedlander
Federal Coordination and Compliance Section
Civil Rights Division
This page was last updated on February 07, 2001