A local Florida public defender is calling for the Department of Justice to investigate the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for racism and discrimination practices targeting Blacks in the Florida county, CNN reports. For instance, four cops were found to have exchanged text messages and video that were racially offensive and one featured President Obama wearing gold teeth.
Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein wrote Wednesday in a letter to the federal agency that the Fort Lauderdale police did not carry out a sufficient investigation into their actions and asked the DOJ to launch a probe into their activities.
"Its investigation was intentionally limited in order to protect the department," Finkelstein wrote. He said that his office is currently observing the 52 pending cases and 126 closed cases for instances of discrimination against Black males.
“I wrote to your department on August 29, 2014 requesting an investigation into egregious discriminatory and race-based police practices utilized by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department,” he continued, according to CNN. "I received no response."
The Department of Justice spokesperson told CNN that “the department is monitoring the local investigation.”
Fort Lauderdale’s police department is not an anomaly as dozens of local authorities across the country have been put in hot water for their lack of training and their eyebrow raising tactics that disproportionately harm people of color. The Department of Justice recently found misconduct within police departments of Ferguson, Missouri, Philadelphia, Cleveland and New Orleans, among others.
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