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Lankford, Bice Call for Transparency, Communication in DOJ Investigation of Oklahoma City, OKC Police Department

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK-05) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in November an investigation into the state of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, and the Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD).

Lankford and Bice write in their letter, “We understand that the investigation will examine whether unnecessary admissions to psychiatric facilities and police conduct occurred. We understand that this is an ongoing investigation. However, we urge the DOJ to maximize transparency and communication with the OKCPD as the investigation unfolds.”

You can read the full letter HERE or below:

Dear Attorney General Garland,

We write in regard to the Department of Justice’s investigation of Oklahoma’s mental health service system. On November 17th, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an investigation into the state of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, and the Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD).

We understand that the investigation will examine whether unnecessary admissions to psychiatric facilities and police conduct occurred. We understand that this is an ongoing investigation. However, we urge the DOJ to maximize transparency and communication with the OKCPD as the investigation unfolds.

Additionally, we request answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the timeline of the investigation and when does DOJ anticipate completion of the investigation?
  2. Since Oklahoma City is one of four cities with police departments under investigation, did the complaints against all four originate from the same source?
  3. Is the investigation only being conducted pursuant to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994? Are there any other statutes the DOJ is using or will use as the basis of the investigation in Oklahoma City?
  4. Does the investigation relate to federal programs that are administered by state and local entities in Oklahoma?

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

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