The U.S. Justice Department will launch a civil rights probe of Lexington, Mississippi, and its police department after reports of excessive force and discriminatory policing, Kristen Clarke, the head of the department’s Civil Rights Division, said on Wednesday.
The probe will examine whether police in the city of about 1,600 residents routinely commit civil rights violations.
Clarke said the Justice Department received credible allegations that Lexington police, a department with fewer than 10 officers, stopped and searched people without justification and routinely arrested people solely for using profane language.
The probe follows the firing last year of the department’s previous chief, Sam Dobbins, after a recording surfaced of him using racist slurs and boasting about killing 13 people while in the line of duty, according to local media reports.
Full story: US Justice Dept probing possible civil rights abuses by Mississippi police | Reuters