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Civil Rights Complaints

The Eastern District of Texas, in coordination with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, is charged with enforcing the federal civil rights laws. Our Office welcomes information from the public that brings attention to possible violations of our nation’s civil rights laws. The USAO is primarily a litigating office and not an investigative office. The Eastern District of Texas has two Civil Rights Coordinators.  The Civil Rights Coordinator (Civil) is AUSA Aimee Cooper, and the Civil Rights Coordinator (Criminal) is Senior Litigation Counsel Tracey Batson.

Understanding Your Rights

Civil rights law can protect you from unlawful discrimination, harassment, or abuse in a variety of settings like housing, the workplace, school, voting, business, healthcare, public space, and more.

Protected by Civil Rights Laws

These are the most common characteristics that are legally protected.

  • Race/color
  • Disability including temporary or in recovery
  • Religion
  • Sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation
  • Immigration/citizenship status
  • Language and national origin including ancestry and ethnicity
  • Family, marital, or parental status including pregnancy
  • Age
  • Genetic identification
  • Servicemember status

Hate Crimes

The Department of Justice aggressively prosecutes hate crimes, which include acts of physical harm and specific criminal threats motivated by animus based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Law Enforcement Misconduct

The Department of Justice  vigorously investigates and, where the evidence permits, prosecutes allegations of Constitutional violations by law enforcement officers. The Department's investigations most often involve alleged uses of excessive force, but also include sexual misconduct, theft, false arrest, and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs or a substantial risk of harm to a person in custody. These cases typically involve police officers, jailers, correctional officers, probation officers, prosecutors, judges, and other federal, state, or local law enforcement officials. The Department's authority extends to all law enforcement conduct, regardless of whether an officer is on or off duty, so long as he/she is acting, or claiming to act, in his/her official capacity.

Voting

The Voting Section enforces the civil provisions of the federal laws that protect the right to vote, including the Voting Rights Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act and the Civil Rights Acts. The District Election Officer for the Eastern District of Texas is AUSA Nathaniel Kummerfeld.

How to Report a Civil Rights Violation

If you believe you or someone else you know has experienced a civil rights violation, please contact the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.

To report misconduct by law enforcement or if you or someone you know has been a victim of a hate crime, please contact the FBI.

Updated August 12, 2021

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