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Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke Delivers Remarks for the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington


Washington, DC
United States

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Good afternoon. Thank you for the kind introduction, and thank you to the National Action Network, Martin Luther King III and Arndrea Waters King for convening this important event.

The cancer of white supremacy and racially-motivated hate crimes is growing. The scourge of voter suppression, police misconduct, and economic injustice is festering.

But the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is up to the fight. We will continue to defend the civil rights of all people in our country, to fight for racial justice.

We are prosecuting law enforcement officials when they violate civil and constitutional rights, including Derek Chauvin and the three other officers who failed to intervene in the killing of George Floyd.

We charged the four officers tied to the death of Breonna Taylor.

We secured guilty pleas from six former police officers for torturing and abusing two Black men in Rankin County, Mississippi.

We are investigating or working to reform police departments.

We are prosecuting the defendant who killed 10 Black people at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

We secured convictions against all three men responsible for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery just because he was Black.

We also convicted the defendant responsible for the death of 23 Latino people killed at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and the defendant responsible for the death of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We are challenging discriminatory voting laws to ensure that every American has voice in our democracy.

We are taking on banks that engage in modern-day redlining in cities from Los Angeles to Houston, and Philadelphia to Newark.

We are confronting the unconstitutional conditions that we see inside too many of our jails and prisons and have ongoing investigations in Georgia, Texas, Alabama and more.

Our cause is a righteous one. Protecting civil rights benefits all Americans – Black, white, Latino, AAPIs, Native American, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, our servicemembers.

We do this work because of Emmett Till, James Byrd and Medgar Evers, because of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley – four little girls who lost their lives in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama.

I promise you, under my watch, the Civil Rights Division will not forget those who came before us. We stand with you, we will stand for you, we will stand for justice.

Thank you.

Civil Rights
Updated August 28, 2023