If you believe that your local police department discriminated against you or a group of individuals based on race, national origin, religion, sex, or disability in violation of Title VI, Section 504, or the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 as described above, you can file an administrative complaint with DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
While it is difficult to prove discrimination, filing a complaint with OCR may be an effective police accountability strategy for two reasons. First, OCR has found evidence of discrimination by a law enforcement agency based on disability and required the agency to change its practices. It has also concluded that a sheriff’s office’s failure to maintain a process for individuals to file complaints of officer misconduct could have discriminatory effects on racial and ethnic minorities and other protected classes in violation of Title VI and other civil rights laws.
To learn more about the OCR administrative complaint process, please read this LDF and OCR webinar presentation and consider this sample complaint. This webinar and sample complaint are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute the provision of legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship with LDF or the Thurgood Marshall Institute.