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Tags: democrats | justice department | race | excessive force | police brutality | deadly force

House Judiciary Dems Want DOJ to Probe Three Killings of Unarmed Blacks

a protester holds up a sign with the cop's knee on george floyd's neck before floyd's death
(Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2020 09:42 PM EDT

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee want the Department of Justice to investigate three recent killings of unarmed black people.

In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, the lawmakers focus on the local law enforcement handling of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

"The federal government has a critical role to play in promoting a culture of accountability for all law enforcement organizations, including at the state and local level," panel chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement, The Hill reported.

He added he expects the panel will consider legislation addressing racial profiling and police brutality.

Arbery was shot by two bystanders Feb. 23 while jogging in his Brunswick, Georgia, neighborhood. A video of his death was released in May, sparking outrage, and the DOJ is looking into whether the case warrants federal hate crime charges.

Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was fatally shot in her Louisville, Kentucky, home by police in plain clothes March 13, the Louisville Courier Journal reported. The FBI has since opened an investigation.

Floyd, 46, died Monday after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck. His case also will be investigated by the Justice Department.

Conservatives have expressed outrage at the deaths, as has President Donald Trump.

"This has nothing to do with politics and is only about making sure justice is done, and anyone who suggests otherwise is only seeking to sow division and ignore the president's unwavering support for the African-American community," White House spokesman Judd Deere said, citing Trump's support for criminal justice reform legislation, Opportunity Zones, and historically black colleges and universities.

Trump "was very upset when he saw that video," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday about Floyd's death. "He wants justice to be served."

Fox News host Sean Hannity said he is "a big supporter of law enforcement," but expressed outrage as well at the police response in the Floyd arrest: "The lack of training here is breathtaking."

"It defies common sense, it defies training, it defies arrest policies and procedures: There was no resistance," added Bernie Kerik, the former New York police commissioner pardoned by Trump.

"We got to get to the very bottom of how this poor individual was treated, and the death of him on the video itself is shocking from what I saw," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said.

Even conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who once called Black Lives Matter a "terrorist group," said Thursday that Floyd's death was totally "unjustified," and he was "so mad."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee want the Department of Justice to investigate three recent killings of unarmed black people.
democrats, justice department, race, excessive force, police brutality, deadly force
Thursday, 28 May 2020 09:42 PM
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