WATCHDOG

Federal Civil-Rights Commission Calls for Increased Scrutiny of Local Police

A federal civil-rights commission called for the Justice Department to increase scrutiny of America’s local police departments, a week after departing Attorney General Jeff Sessions tightened restrictions on when and how the U.S. government can fight law-enforcement abuses. In a 200-page report published Thursday, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded that black Americans harbor “valid” concerns about police-officer accountability and police brutality in general, The Washington Post reports. Under President Obama, the Department of Justice investigated alleged civil-rights violations by local police departments. President Trump’s administration halted the practice when he took office nearly two years ago. The document called on Trump to resume such oversight. “The Department of Justice is turning its back on the important work that has been done in the past,” Commission Chairwoman Catherine Lhamon told The Post. “It is critically important for the Department of Justice to return to vigorous enforcement of constitutional policing.”