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Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) has asked the U.S. Justice Department for clarification on the investigation into the fatal shooting by U.S. Park Police of Trey Joyner in D.C.’s Trinidad neighborhood on June 8.
Norton, after talking with Park Police Chief Salvatore Lauro, had been under the impression that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division would be leading an inquiry into the incident. She told residents as much at a community meeting last month at Mount Horeb Baptist Church.
“Last week, my staff was informed that the Civil Rights Division is not leading the investigation of the shooting, but that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will be the agency leading this investigation,” Norton wrote to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this week.
More from the July 27 letter:
It was clear to me that the involvement of federal police officers in a local shooting required a federal investigation. At the meeting, Chief Lauro told me that the Civil Rights Division had called him and that he had been told they would be taking over the investigation, according to notes taken by my staff at the meeting. There appear to be no federal procedures in place for an incident involving a shooting of a local resident by a federal police officer. Therefore, the use of a third party federal authority with no involvement with the city or local police seemed to me to be appropriate, especially since the Civil Rights Division has a long and credible history of investigating police departments and incidents around the country.
… This incident has raised considerable consternation here, but one thing I thought had been settled was that an independent body would be investigating the Trinidad shooting. I seek immediate clarification and I believe that such clarification is due as well to the family and to the citizens I represent.
Six Park Police officers were placed on administrative leave after the shooting. Lauro told the Washington Post last month that the officers were not part of an FBI-led “Safe Streets” task force, which is what Park Police had initially said.
Read the full text of Norton’s letter here.