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DOJ Investigates Mississippi Police Department for Constitutional Violations

A small police department in Lexington, Mississippi has become the 11th in the nation to be reviewed by the Biden administration’s Department of Justice for systemic constitutional violations, Courthouse News reports. The Lexington Police Department has fewer than 10 officers patrolling a town of 1,600 people, 86% of whom are Black. "Residents of rural and underserved communities have the same rights and deserve the same protection” as residents in larger cities, while “small and midsize police departments cannot and must not be allowed to violate civil rights with impunity," said said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke


Clarke said the Lexington Police Department has been accused of arresting people without legal justification, using force against people who posed no threat, establishing illegal roadblocks to target Black drivers, and retaliating against people exercising their rights to question police action and record police activity. In June, the Lexington Police Department arrested a civil rights attorney after she had pulled off the road to record an officer as he conducted a traffic stop on another motorist. In August 2022, Lexington Police Chief Sam Dobbins bragged about killing 13 people in the line of duty, while dropping racist and homophobic slurs. Dobbins, who is white was fired, but the department continues to be staffed by many of the same officers who served with Dobbins.

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