Attorneys General Ask For Authority to Investigate Unconstitutional Policing


Attorney General Frosh Urges Congress to Give State Attorneys General Authority to Investigate Unconstitutional Policing

BALTIMORE, MD (June 4, 2020) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general urging Congress to expand federal law to give state attorneys general clear statutory authority to investigate patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing.


In a letter issued to Congressional leadership, the coalition is asking Congress to expand the law enforcement misconduct section of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which was enacted following the severe beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles Police Department officers in 1991. The coalition argues that attorneys general should have authority to investigate and resolve patterns or practices of unconstitutional policing, particularly in the event that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) fails to use its authority to act.


“Our nation is in the midst of turmoil following yet another instance of police brutality against black people,” said Attorney General Frosh. “We must act with urgency at all levels of government to bring justice to victims and eliminate the systemic failures that cause and allow police brutality to continue. We are asking Congress to give attorneys general the authority to conduct pattern-or-practice investigations, and the tools to bring enforcement actions when the federal government is unwilling to act.”


The attorneys general are calling on Congress to take urgent action as thousands of Americans march in cities throughout the country to protest police brutality and the systemic failures that cause and