The U.S. Justice Department has launched a practice investigation of the Mount Vernon Police Department that will determine whether the department participates in discriminatory policing.
The investigation will also examine the police department’s use of force, strip and body cavity searches and how they handle evidence, according to a U.S. Justice Department statement. Additionally, a comprehensive review of the police department’s systems of accountability will be done.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York announced the investigation launch.
“An effective and accountable police department is a hallmark of a healthy and well-functioning democracy,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to ensuring that law enforcement agencies across our country use their authority in a manner that is constitutional, transparent and free from discrimination.”
The investigation is being done in accordance with the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which prohibits state and local governments from engaging in patterns of behavior by law enforcement officers that deprive individuals of constitutional or federal rights.
The department is encouraging individuals to report relevant information via email at email@example.com or by calling the toll-free phone at (866)-985-1378.