Mississippi for Rights Violations
The Washington Times
The Justice Department has targeted Mississippi in a federal lawsuit claiming that the due process rights of children are “repeatedly and routinely” violated when arrested for minor offenses, accusing officials of operating a “school to prison pipeline” that singles out blacks and juveniles with disabilities.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, MS, names the state of Mississippi, the city of Meridian, Lauderdale County, and judges of the Lauderdale County Youth Court, alleging violations of the Fourth, Fifth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
“The department is bringing this lawsuit to ensure that all children are treated fairly and receive the fullest protection of the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, who heads the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. “It is in all of our best interests to ensure that children are not incarcerated for alleged minor infractions, and that police and courts meet their obligations to uphold children’s constitutional rights.”
The complaint said children in Meridian have been systematically arrested by police and incarcerated for minor offenses, including school disciplinary infractions, and are punished disproportionately without due process of law...
According to the complaint, Lauderdale County does not consistently afford children meaningful representation by an attorney during the juvenile justice process, including in preparation for and during detention, adjudication and disposition hearings...
In response to the August investigation, officials in Lauderdale and Meridian called the findings “one-sided,” saying they were based on an unprofessional investigation undertaken by inexperienced staff. They also said in a letter to the Justice Department that investigators had received unreliable information, interviewed only “a few” families and reached conclusions based on unsubstantiated claims.
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Editor's Note: Sadly, the Holder Justice Department -- and in particular, Thomas Perez - have such a horrible track record of bully politics in the pursuit of "social justice," that every action they take must be questioned and scrutinized for ideological influences...
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