The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the Lexington, Mississippi police department over alleged civil rights violations.
On Wednesday (November 8), Kristen Clarke, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said the agency has received credible reports of excessive force and discriminatory policing by Lexington police officers, per Reuters.
Some of the allegations against the department include police stopping and searching people without justification and arresting people solely for using profane language.
Lexington has a population of 1,600 people, 83 percent of whom are Black. There are fewer than 10 officers who police the city.
“No city, no town, no law enforcement agency is too big or too small to evade our enforcement of the constitutional rights every American enjoys,” Clarke said in a statement.
The investigation comes after former Lexington police chief Sam Dobbins was fired last year after he was caught on a recording using racial slurs and bragging about killing Black people. Dobbins has denied the legitimacy of the recording.
Clarke said the Justice Department will fully investigate the police department’s practices before reaching a conclusion. Local officials said they would cooperate with the investigation.