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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois

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Reps. Kelly and Gutiérrez Appeal to Loretta Lynch for Help on Violence, Police Issues

Jul 11, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a week of national tragedy including citizens killed by police and police killed by citizens, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Rep. Robin L. Kelly (D-IL) released a letter they wrote Friday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to help lead an effort to address police community relations and gun violence.  They wrote: 

“As our chief law enforcement officer in the United States, you are in the position to shape the national conversation from big cities to small towns and lead us towards change in attitudes and practices of law enforcement agencies.” 

The two Chicago-area lawmakers initially reached out to AG Lynch in December 2015 to enlist her help in fostering healing after the video of the shooting of Laquan McDonald exposed the deep rift between the police and the communities they serve in Chicago.  In the new letter, dated July 8, 2016, they wrote:

“We wrote to you…to request a meeting in Chicago to not only discuss the DOJ’s investigation into the Chicago Police Department (CPD) but also to engage in a conversation with us and our constituents throughout Chicago to work towards a restoration of trust and the fostering of much-needed transparency.”

Reps. Kelly and Gutiérrez are following up on their previous request to get the Attorney General to address the police violence and community engagement issues in Chicago now that the recent killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and five Dallas-area police officers have put these issues back in the national spotlight.  They write  they are seeking the Attorney General’s help because, 

“As Members of Congress, we hear from our constituents every single day about gun violence, police, the use of force, and racial profiling…We struggle to adequately respond to the concerns and suffering of our constituents—gun violence deaths are so commonplace that every weekend the number of children killed could fill an entire classroom.”

Rep. Kelly and Rep. Gutiérrez vowed to follow-up more aggressively with the Attorney General, including when she testifies before the House Judiciary Committee (on which Rep. Gutiérrez sits) this week.  They are stressing the urgency of the need for leadership and action in Illinois and around the country. They concluded: 

“As weeks and months pass and turn into years, the numbers of precious lives senselessly lost continue to rise.  Cameras thankfully have exposed injustice and shine a light on communities mourning and protesting, but we must hold fast to our resolve to prevent another Ferguson, Chicago, Falcon Heights, or Baton Rouge even when the cameras are gone.”

The letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch can be read in its entirety here: PDF LINK

Robin Kelly

 

 

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