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The Strategy Center Submits DOJ & DOT Civil Rights Complaint Against the LACMTA

LCSC in 3 languages for stationary large

November 14, 2016

United State Department of Transportation (DOT)
Attn: Yvette Rivera, Associate Director
Departmental Office of Civil Rights
Office of the Secretary
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590

United States Department of Justice (DOJ)
Civil Rights Division
Attn: Federal Coordination and Compliance Section
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530

Re: Civil Rights Complaint Against the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and all employed and contracted police, for Racial Discrimination and a Pattern and Practice of Systemic Criminalization Against Black Transit Riders

To the U.S. Department of Justice & U.S. Department of Transportation:

On behalf of the Labor/Community Strategy Center (hereinafter ‘Strategy Center’ or ‘LCSC’), our member base, and Black transit riders throughout Los Angeles City and County, we submit that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (hereinafter ‘LA MTA’ and ‘MTA’) and its employed and contracted police and civilian fare checkers, including but not limited to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (hereinafter ‘Sheriff’ and ‘LASD’), the MTA police, and any and all civilian officers, are in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and all relevant state and federal laws protecting against police brutality and intentional and disparate impact racial discrimination by demonstrating a pattern and practice of criminalization, ‘stop and frisk’1 fare enforcement and other ‘quality of life’2 citations and arrests on public transportation that systemically and egregiously target Black riders.

1 LA MTA CEO Philip A. Washington publicly acknowledged that the data is evidence that ‘stop and frisk,’ has been implemented on the MTA system for several years. See Brooks, B. Metro CEO Phil Washington Vows to Correct Unfair Stop & Frisk Practices (2016, July 20). The Sentinel. Available at practices.html.
2 ‘Quality of life’ references the category defined by MTA for citations sent to Transit Court. See Metro Transit Court Report for 2012 and 2013, Prepared by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority and Submitted to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing and Assembly Committee on Transportation, pg. 6.

For questions, more information and Press inquiry call:

Eric Mann

Director, Labor Community Strategy Center

Manuel Criollo

Director of Organizing, Labor Community Strategy Center

(213) 387-2800

View the full-text of the Complaint here: