WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, along with 110 additional organizations committed to racial justice and civil rights, called on the U.S. Department of Justice to open a full and thorough hate crimes investigation into the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. The groups also called on the DOJ to conduct a federal civil rights pattern or practice investigation into the local district attorneys, as well as the Glynn County Police Department, for systemic constitutional abuses.
“The DOJ, including the FBI and the Civil Rights Division, must conduct a full investigation into Mr. Arbery’s killing under federal hate crimes and conspiracy statutes. The publicly available facts, including the harrowing video documenting the intentional killing of an African-American man in broad daylight by two White men who stalked him, support opening an investigation under federal hate crimes statutes, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, as well as federal conspiracy statutes,” the groups wrote in their letter to Attorney General Barr.
“There are sufficient grounds to open a federal civil rights pattern or practice investigation of the local prosecutors and the police department,” the groups wrote.
“At a time when we are seeing a spike in hate crimes, the role of the Civil Rights Division in working with the FBI to investigate and prosecute hate crimes cases and ensure constitutional enforcement of the law by state and local law enforcement agencies is more important than ever. The DOJ has publicly acknowledged the real and growing threat of white supremacy and white nationalism in the United States. The murder of Ahmaud Arbery and actions of the local district attorneys and police department warrant the DOJ’s action. This terrifying violence is not new; it is part of the continuing dehumanization of Black people across America. We cannot fight the racism, hate, and impunity that threaten the lives of Black people and other people of color unless the department takes the necessary actions to ensure full and real accountability,” concludes the letter.
The full letter is available herehttps://civilrights.org/resource/doj-must-open-a-full-and-thorough-civil-rights-investigation-into-the-horrific-killing-of-ahmaud-arbery/