After years of racial profiling, discriminatory policing, excessive force, and disturbing favoritism to known white supremacist extremist groups, NAACP Vancouver, the ACLU of Washington and ACLU of Oregon, as well as several other organizations, have formally requested the United States Department of Justice investigate the Vancouver Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, and a joint drug task force between the two agencies.
We’ve made this request due to a pattern of excessive and deadly force against communities of color and some of our most vulnerable residents. For years, law enforcement in Vancouver and Clark County have engaged in discriminatory policing against people of color, residents experiencing homelessness, and those with a mental health disability, while showing favor to known white supremacist extremist groups. This disparate policing causes lasting harm for residents and undermines public safety for the community at large.
All residents of Vancouver and Clark County deserve equal and professional treatment by police officers. But these highly publicized incidents described in the letter erode already strained relationships between the community and local law enforcement.
Because of this, we believe a federal investigation is needed to address the patterns and practices of discriminatory policing and to assure that everyone in Vancouver and Clark County enjoys equitable security and public safety, free of discrimination.
Below is a link to the letter and full press conference.